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& Restaurant Canadian

Summer 2017

Foodservice News Official Magazine of the Canadian Culinary Federation


TRENDS Publication Agreement #40033126




See page 29 for Trends and Innovation on Canadian Breakfast Menus



Canadian Trailblazer Peter Karamountzos | The Perfect Couple The Meat of the Matter | Sensual Design | Preventive Measures






contents Summer 2017 VOL. 8 NO. 2




12 Menu Trends Ten years makes a difference

19 Minding Your Business Are You in Compliance?

10 Finger Food Faves For ethnic variety or healthy choices, fingers foods fit the bill

By Geoff Wilson

DEPARTMENTS 4 Editor's Note To Trend or Not to Trend 6 Canadian Trailblazer Peter Karamountzos Obsidian Group 8 Chef Q&A Matt Stowe Joseph Richard Group S+L Kitchen and Bar 70 Crunching Numbers Institutional Foodservice

By Eric Mayzel and Noah Leszcz

26 In the Brews The Perfect Couple By Roger Mittag

58 Nutrition Preventive Measures

By Laura McGuire

22 Perfectly Sauced Bold flavours and healthy ingredients add a creative touch to sauces and bases

By Sue Mah

60 Sensual Design Building layers with your food and with your space


By Chris Hannah

29 What’s For Breakfast? Trends and innovation on Canadian breakfast menus 45-56 The Canadian Culinary Federation’s À LA MINUTE

63 The Meat of the Matter Meat and poultry prove their worth as versatile proteins By Sean Moon






Restaurant Foodservice News The official publication of the Canadian Culinary Federation,, RestoBizBYTES and RestoBizGuide. PUBLISHER: Chuck Nervick ADVERTISING SALES: Petra Brown Nick Nervick MANAGING EDITOR: Sean Moon DIGITAL MEDIA DIRECTOR: Steven Chester ONLINE EDITOR: Kavita Sabharwal


rom a personal standpoint, I will admit that, on the one hand, I am not one of the trendiest people around. (A simply yearly inventory of my clothes closet can confirm this — I still seem to have an avoidance issue with skinny pants and pointy shoes, but I digress). On the other hand, there are certain things where I seem to gravitate towards the next shiny object — travel destinations, TV shows, certain smartphone apps and games, among others — although my tendency to listen to progressive rock music keeps me decidedly in the un-trendy camp. That is all well and good as a private individual. But in an industry as important to the national economy as foodservice, how much emphasis should be we putting on the latest trends? The short answer is: A lot. . . or none at all. Let me clarify. As our cover story author for this issue, Geoff Wilson of fsSTRATEGY outlines the many menu trends over the last 10 years and how they are affecting the foodservice industry today. What you will note is that most of these have grown beyond mere fads or flash-in-the-pan distractions and have proven their sustainability and popularity with consumers over many years. In this respect, staying on top of the trends (the lasting ones, anyway) can play a key role in menu engineering, marketing, pricing and several operational factors. From another angle, some restaurants find themselves flitting from one thing to the next, never truly establishing their own identity and direction. I think for the most part, this stems from what some might call the FOMO Factor – the “fear of missing out” on customers who are also hopping from one trend to another. Pick the wrong trend to follow and you could follow it right out of business. Somewhere there is a happy medium and that is what this issue of CRFN hopes to help you discover. Not only have we covered some of the major developments, innovations and, dare I say, trends currently at play in the Canadian foodservice industry, we also have a phenomenal lineup of features and articles examining the factors that can help you build your business, including: • How the growing appeal of finger foods among consumers is driving operators to innovate this menu category with everything from street-inspired ethnic small bites to noteworthy twists to traditional pub grub. • Looking at the many ways that beer and food can make a perfect match and boost your bottom line. • How chefs are raising the creative bar and reaching beyond international borders to develop inspired and innovative meat and poultry dishes, all while giving tradition its due respect. So if you’re interested in how you can keep with the latest trends (or not), be sure to dive in to this packed issue of CRFN. As always you’ll find something for everyone. Until next time, enjoy the issue. Cheers for now, Sean Moon Managing Editor

4 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

ART DIRECTOR: Annette Carlucci

DESIGNER: Jen Carter

WEB DESIGNER: Rick Evangelista PRODUCT SPECIALIST: Angela Rafuse

CIRCULATION INQUIRIES: Aashish Sharma 416.512.8186 ext. 234

Magazine Editorial Advisory Board Jason Bangerter

John Lettieri

Executive Chef, Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa

President and CEO Hero Certified Burgers

Donna Bottrell, RD

Ryan Marquis

Owner, Donna Bottrell Food Consulting

Corporate Chef, CW Shasky

Andrea Carlson

Gary McBlain

Chef/Owner, Burdock and Co.

Regional Director of Culinary, Baybridge Senior Living

Steve Chase Executive Director, Food and Beverage Fallsview Casino Resort/Casino Niagara

Roger Mittag

Connie DeSousa and John Jackson

Brent Poulton

Co-owners/chefs, Charcut/Charbar

Matt Rolfe

Jeff Dover

CEO and Hospitality Leadership Coach/Speaker, Results Hospitality

Principal, fsSTRATEGY

Owner/Consultant, Thirst for Knowledge CEO, St. Louis Bar and Grill

PRESIDENT: Kevin Brown


Chuck Nervick

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Foundations for Success


6 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


For Obsidian Group’s Peter Karamountzos, success in the foodservice business has been based on a combination of finding the right people, providing outstanding service and creating great value for the customer, all built on a solid foundation of strong family ties. As vice-president of Obsidian Group, Karamountzos oversees operations for the company’s Ontario-based restaurant brands that include Crabby Joe’s, Coffee Culture, Chuck’s Roadhouse and Union Burger. He says it was only natural that he would have a career in the foodservice industry after the hands-on experience he had while working for his father as a teenager. “My father launched Crabby Joe’s when my brother and I were both teens so we were always involved in the business working part-time. While I was at university, my father asked both of us to make a decision on whether we wanted to pursue a career outside the restaurant industry or commit full-time to the family business. We both started as assistant managers and gradually learned what was involved in running a successful restaurant. It is that foundation that guides us today.” UNIQUE ATMOSPHERE

With over 100 restaurants now under the Obsidian Group umbrella, Karamountzos says the company has developed distinctive qualities for each concept, all underpinned by a commitment to quality and a friendly environment. “For each concept we are asking ourselves how we can make the experience special for our customers. At Coffee Culture, for example, we are looking to provide a European-style feel, with pleasant surroundings and clever menu items. Chuck’s is a price-driven concept harking back to quality food and the traditional roadhouse feel.” Karamountzos says a large part of the company’s success is derived from its ability to create the right atmosphere at each of its restaurants. “That includes the layout of the restaurant, the TVs on the right channels, the music at the appropriate volume and, most importantly, making the customers feel comfortable. To sum up, every staff member needs to have done all the necessary preparation to make it a pleasurable experience for all their customers.”


For all of the complexities and challenges of the restaurant business, Karamountzos has managed to keep a simple philosophy and believes that owning a restaurant is actually being a part of the entertainment business. “I think you need to keep reminding yourself to always try to provide quality food at reasonable and value price points, in a fun and entertaining environment. Every day you are evaluated on the service you provide that day. Every customer is crucial to your success and you have to make sure you are always giving 100 per cent.” Karamountzos says his inspiration and daily motivation comes from not only his own passion for the industry but from the company’s many franchisees as well.

is a challenge that everyone in the industry struggles with. Also, you cannot ignore rising occupancy costs and increasing product prices. An owner is always dealing with tight margins and there is a point where rising costs cannot be passed on to the consumer. We are always looking to find the right balance of menu and price that can be supported by the consumer. And these days the competition is fierce.” It should come as no surprise that family has also played a major role for Karamountzos in not only getting involved in the restaurant industry as a young man, but also in staying involved. “Family is very important to me. I am indebted to my parents for the opportunity they gave me to help my own family. My children are young but I would love to take them to Greece to see the village my father grew up in. Apart from family and

“Getting into a franchise is a much better option than trying to do your own thing; being part of a larger organization makes it less overwhelming.” — Peter Karamountzos “We have franchisees who have made a large financial commitment to us. We owe it to them to offer the best possible support system and guidance to help them fulfill their dreams. For me, there is nothing better than someone succeeding because of the opportunity that was created. Also, supporting and giving back to the communities is important to the Obsidian Group. I just love the restaurant business. There is never a dull day, and almost all the challenges can be overcome.” KEEPING AN EYE ON COSTS

Some of the biggest challenges, says Karamountzos, include recruiting and training the best staff, keeping a rein on overhead and managing food costs. “Finding the right people, especially at the back of the house and retaining them,

work, it is sports. I remain an optimist, and I can’t wait for the day the Leafs reach the Stanley Cup Final!” THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT

As for the future of the Obsidian Group, Karamountzos is equally optimistic, with goals that include hitting the impressive 200-unit mark for the company. But in looking back at both his and the company’s past accomplishments, Karamountzos is grateful to be a part of an industry that can impact so many peoples’ lives. “It is very rewarding to see people coming into a restaurant, that your team helped develop, and having a fun and entertaining experience. I love that every day is different with new, and unexpected challenges, but great opportunities for people to enjoy their experience.” | Summer 2017 7

MATT STOWE Director of Culinary Operations, Joseph Richard Group (S+L Kitchen & Bar, Townhall Public House, Sudo Asian Kitchen) Education: Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York City Career Path: Fairmont Hotels, Restaurant Lutece, Sonora Resort, Cactus Club Café, Joseph Richard Group Years of experience as a chef: 18 What are your earliest memories of cooking?


Growing up I cooked with my mother a lot; I started by helping her in the kitchen when I was five years old. She was an amazing cook and seeing the joy that her food brought to our family was a big reason why I became a chef. Why do you think you were drawn to a culinary career?

I was lucky enough to go to a high school that had a chef training program. My instructor at the school was Guy Ethier. Guy was an amazing teacher and really pushed me all the time to grow and improve. As soon as I stepped foot in his kitchen and was able to experience professional equipment and the fast paced environment, I was hooked! How would you describe your restaurants?

We are a diverse and innovative restaurant group that has multiple concepts. We have our Townhall public house brands which really started the company on the path it is on now; S+L Kitchen & Bar, which is our version of a modern steakhouse; this year we are very excited to open two new concepts: An Asian concept called Sudo that will feature our take on various Asian concepts. As well, we will be opening an Italian concept. Later in the year or early 2018, I will also be opening a chefdriven, fine dining restaurant with our group.

8 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

If you knew you were eating your last meal, what would you have?

It would have to be roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and a foie gras terrine to start followed by my mother’s black forest cake for dessert. What is your philosophy about food?

Cooking is about two things: Product and execution. Sourcing local product at the height of its season is very important. It is also crucial to use proper techniques and respect culinary tradition while utilizing modern equipment if it renders a better result, but only then. Never stop refining! Where do you go to dine out?

When I go out to eat my wife and I tend to go to ethnic restaurants. We love Thai, Japanese, Chinese or Indian — essentially anything we wouldn’t normally make at home. What is your favourite ingredient?

I don’t really have a favourite; any product that is local and at the height of the season is what I love. Living in B.C. is great because our growing seasons are quite short and there are always new ingredients coming in and out of season so it keeps it fresh and exciting. However, if I had to choose, I love wild mushrooms!

Who were your biggest influences for becoming a chef?

My biggest influence would definitely have been my mom. I also had the privilege of working with some amazing chefs when I was a young cook who molded me into the chef I am today. Guy Ethier, Robert Le Crom, David Feau, Mike Wurster — all were great mentors early on in my career. If you knew you were going to be exiled to a desert island, what three ingredients or food items would take with you?

I knew that question was coming! Olive oil, chef ’s knife, frying pan. All other food products can be found in nature! What do you think is the most overrated food trend right now?

Summer truffles, they taste like nothing and produce in the summer can stand on its own. Gluten free, seems like it only exists here in North America. I understand some people are allergic to wheat but I think it’s strange how much it has taken off here compared to the rest of the world. What do you think is the most underrated food trend?

It’s not really underrated but may not be on everyone’s radar: Chefs opening fast casual concepts is going to be a huge trend. It will be interesting how big it will get and if anyone will be able to challenge the likes of McDonald’s or Subway…only time will tell I suppose. Is there any type of cuisine that you would like to experiment more with?

I spent some time in Korea a couple years ago and was fascinated by their food. I would like to work with some more of their products and combinations. What are the essential ingredients for success in the foodservice industry today?

Consistency and value are the two most essential. It’s what everyone wants and looks for no matter what. There is a perceived value in everything whether it’s a $5 hamburger or a $310 tasting menu. Both can be seen as good value but it’s all about the product and the experience.

What is your favorite food combination right now?

Right now with the summer season it has to be local heirloom tomatoes (very important that they have never seen the inside of a refrigerator), Maldon salt, Domenica Fiore olive oil and burrata cheese. Do you have any culinary guilty pleasures?

I have always loved foie gras and could eat it anytime, anywhere. I used to sneak foie gras terrine and make sandwiches with it as a young cook in NYC. What are some of the most interesting or unique challenges of being a chef?

I think nowadays the challenge is mentoring a new generation of cooks that have a much different mindset from how I was raised in this industry. Trying to relate to them and keep them happy without sacrificing your standards is important. It is such a dog fight now for people, it’s a huge focus. Talk a bit about your experience on Top Chef Canada and how winning has impacted your career.

Winning Top Chef had a huge impact on my career. I have had so many cool experiences, whether it was travelling to Korea and promoting Canadian products or working with some huge international brands like Glad, Wolf Blass wines or Ford Lincoln to working with some amazing charity organizations like Covenant House. None of it would have been possible without going on TV and having that level of exposure. What advice would you have for aspiring new chefs as they enter the industry?

Go all in. Fully commit and don’t look back. Enjoy the early stages while you are working on the craft. Find joy in perfectly turning artichokes or rolling pasta. You have to love the repetition of cooking in order to become successful. Don’t try and move up too fast; it’s a major problem with the next generation.

Which cooking technique or tool is a favourite of yours right now and why?

I have always been obsessed with spoons ever since I started cooking. I have a huge collection and it’s something I couldn’t live without in a kitchen. | Summer 2017 9


s e v a F

For ethnic variety or better-for-you choices, finger foods fit the bill By Laura McGuire

10 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


There’s something that makes finger foods hard to resist. Perhaps it is the breaking from the formality of utensils, or maybe it is the often-indulgent positioning associated with these offerings.

It could also be that finger foods come in such varied shapes and sizes—ranging from poppable snack bites to more substantial handhelds. And they feature different flavours and preparations. In addition, these pub grub-style items fit the bill for a variety of dining occasions, often serving as shareable or individual-size appetizers, small plates and snacks, and sometimes even as entrees. The growing appeal of finger foods among consumers is driving operators to innovate this menu category with everything from street-inspired ethnic small bites to noteworthy twists to traditional chicken wings, sliders and nachos. Let’s look at how restaurants are contemporizing finger foods to mirror today’s leading trends.

green onions. Further, Bento Sushi menus an Asian-Mexican fusion line of sushi burritos in several varieties such as steelhead salmon, tuna and crab. Global sauces and condiments are also providing worldly additions to more classic finger foods like wings and sliders. For instance, sriracha currently tops Technomic’s list of fastest-growing wing flavours, nearly doubling in menu mentions over the past year. Panago Pizza and Turtle Jack’s Muskoka Grill are two chains that offer a sriracha variety of wings selection. Other ethnic wing flavours showing strong growth trajectories are Cajun, sweet chili and Asian. Similar international accents on also appearing on sliders—operators are topping these bitesize burgers with ingredients like kimchi, sauerkraut and chutney.


Growing consumer interest in dining experiences from far-flung markets is diversifying Canada’s finger food selection. These new ethnic-inspired dishes explore a multitude of cuisine types—from Far East Asian to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean to Central and South American—and include savoury and sweet selections. Within ethnic finger foods, streetinspired preparations are popular consumer choices because they’re typically built around authenticity. These items, which are usually highly portable and boldly flavoured, range from Chinese jianbing to Indian samosas to Mexican churros. Gushi, a twounit Toronto independent, specializes in Japanese street fare served in portable cardboard containers and often consumed by hand. Menu options include takoyaki octopus balls served with housemade teriyaki sauce and bonito flakes, and chicken karaage, a traditional preparation of fried chicken that uses a potato starch for a light crispy coating and sake and soy sauce marinades for flavouring. Global finger foods also showcase flavour fusions that marry dishes from multiple cuisines. And leading Canada chains provide prime examples of inventive yet approachable takes on fusion combinations. Specialty chain Smoke’s Poutinerie offers a Korean Poutine that tops fries with flat-iron steak, sambal, Korean barbecue sauce and


“Loaded” versions of standard pub grub are also on the rise. Mentions of the term “loaded” have climbed 5.3 per cent year over year on Canadian menus, according to Technomic data. These preparations up the indulgence factor of items such as fries, wings and nachos by piling them high with often generous helpings of sauces, condiments, cheeses, proteins and veggies. Much of the spike in loaded dishes is attributed to a substantial annual growth of loaded fries on menus (up 12.5 per cent). Loaded fries may be presented as a buildyour-own option or can showcase chefcrafted preparations that highlight carefully thought-out flavour dynamics. For instance, the Supreme Fries at casual-dining chain Milestones tops waffle fries with petit filet and seasoned ground chuck, along with queso cheese, salsa, lettuce, scallions and cilantro crema. Beyond fries, operators are reimagining new ways to top other “loaded” menu items such as nachos, potato skins, wings, breadsticks and cheese breads. For instance, Kelseys Original Roadhouse’s Buff’d Up Chicken Potato Skins swaps the traditional

bacon protein for Buffalo grilled chicken and complements it with cheddar and cream cheeses, peppercorn ranch sauce and green onion slivers. Pizza Hotline’s Taco Cheesesticks are a creative rendition of a classic finger food that adds seasoned beef and jalapeno toppings on a garlic butter cheesestick base. LEVERAGING VEGGIES

Craveable veggie finger foods may be a more unexpected trend at restaurants. These items appeal to a broad consumer demographic, including vegans and vegetarians, by pairing the better-for-you aspect of veggies with the more indulgent preparations and accompaniments of finger foods. The result is a dish that satisfies guests’ desire to eat healthier without skimping on taste. Breaded veggies are showing particularly strong growth. Mentions of breaded veggie appetizers grew 10 per cent over the last two years, with the largest growth coming from an increase in fried pickles (up 38 per cent) and fried mushrooms and fried zucchini (both up 14 per cent), according to Technomic data. These fried veggies make for easy, low-cost menu additions for operators while still providing craveable options for guests. One way operators are enhancing the appeal of fried veggies is to use on-trend ingredients for coatings and dips. Technomic’s list of top sauces and condiments on breaded veggies reflects a proclivity to match these items with ethnic flavours, particularly Mediterranean and Asian options such as tzatziki, plum and peanut sauces. The Pickle Barrel chain capitalizes on this trend with its Thai Fried Cauliflower tossed in a sweet Thai chili sauce and sprinkled with mixed sesame seeds. Global influences, loaded preparations and veggie- centric creations are contemporizing finger foods to make them more interesting to guests. Since these types of items are so adaptable, expect to see operators further innovate with finger fare as culinary trends evolve. Future takes will likely continue to underscore larger industry shifts towards customization, convenience, snackability, bolder flavour profiles and better-for-you positionings centered on clean eating.

Laura McGuire is Content Director at Technomic in Chicago. Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry. Visit | Summer 2017 11



Ten Years Makes a Difference By Geoff Wilson

The most important real estate a restaurant has is its menu. The structure of a restaurant’s menu has a significant effect on many aspects of a restaurant’s operations including revenue, food cost, equipment requirements, pantry counts and, most importantly, guest satisfaction and repeat visitation. Getting the menu right is crucial to success.


Key drivers of today’s restaurant menus include: Flat industry traffic and sales (i.e., revenue growth comes from increasing market share); Changing consumer demographics (i.e., aging of the population; Millennials are now the largest restaurant consumer group); Growing consumer demand for local, sustainable foods; Growing consumer demand for fresh, fromscratch, customizable foods; Increasing ethnicity in Canada’s population; and Labour market issues (i.e., shortage of frontline and skilled culinary workers). Because of these drivers, menus have had to evolve and have changed in a number of key ways over the past 10 years. To demonstrate this hypothesis, fsSTRATEGY recently conducted an analysis of the top 10 revenueproducing, full-service chains in Canada1, comparing their menus in 2008 and 2017 to see what difference 10 years has made. We examined menu sections, cooking methods, proteins, menu claims and pricing. MENU SECTIONS

The average number of items on the menus of the 10 chains increased nine per cent (the addition of an average of 5.3 items per chain) since 2008. Although the relative importance of menu categories has not changed, lessons can be learned by examining individual menu category counts. Interestingly, while main courses command the largest part of the menu, the average number of main course items has not changed in 10 years. Many chains are now calling appetizers “shareables.” Today, the appetizer category plays a slightly different role on the menu, providing options for lighter and shared dining, reflecting consumer demand for healthier options and portions, and a more social dining experience. The number of burgers and sandwiches on the top 10 chains’ menus has increased due to demand for hand-held foods (influenced by competition with quick-service restaurants) and consumer demand for valuepriced options. Given flat traffic counts, operators generally don’t want to limit consumers by exceeding their price expectations.


The number of side order options has increased in response to consumer demand for greater customization capability. The research indicates the number of items in the pasta/ bowls category has not changed appreciably; however, in 2008 the majority of items in this category were pastas. In 2017, this category includes a greater number of bowls with ethnic influences, reflecting greater consumer interest in ethnic foods and healthier options. The average number of salads has declined. In many cases, menus don’t promote side salads now (side salads may be available off-menu). The salad category focuses on meal salads, again reflecting consumer demand for healthier options and reflecting operators’ wishes to drive higher average checks. COOKING METHODS

Grilled, deep-fried, baked and pan/stir fried and roasted remain the most popular methods of cooking. Other includes sautéed, broiled, seared, braised, toasted, steamed, barbecued, boiled, smoked and smothered. Average mentions of grilled and, to a lesser extent, baked have increased, no doubt reflecting the perception that grilling and baking are healthier. The use of deep frying continues to grow, owing to consumer demand for comfort foods and ease of use of this method. Pan/stir fried has increased significantly, most likely as this cooking method facilitates response to consumer demand for customization. Roasting remains popular, again no doubt because of continuing consumer demand for comfort foods. PROTEINS

Most likely, when you began reading this article, you expected chicken to continue to be the most popular full-service restaurant menu protein. You were correct. Chicken owns 36 per cent of the average menu (to some extent due to the presence of two chicken chains in the top 10 restaurants and the number of variations available on chicken dishes in all 10 restaurants). In general, the relative rank of protein popularity has not changed in 10 years. However, the percentage menu share for traditional proteins (chicken, beef, seafood and pork) has declined by seven per cent as use of cheese and other proteins increases. The overall increase in protein menu mentions reflects an increase in the number of menu items and the inclusion of a greater number of multiple proteins in menu items (e.g., a greater number of chicken-and-rib combos, more use of bacon with other proteins). Cheese is the protein with the greatest percentage growth (for a single item) owing to the increase in the number of meal salads (which often include goat cheese) and appetizers using cheese. 14 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

The large percentage growth of other proteins is misleading as the numbers for each other protein are very small compared to the proteins listed. In our research, fsSTRATEGY noticed a few more uses of eggs on the menu (i.e., on top of burgers and in meal salads); however, turkey, veal, lamb and game continue to struggle in terms of gaining traction on menus. MENU CLAIMS

In 2008, full-service restaurant menus made a number of claims including reference to light, low fat, low carb and trans fat free menu items. Fad diets played an important role in the consumer’s mind. In 2017, fresh and made in-house are the leading menu claims, reflecting more recent consumer demand for “real” food. Interestingly, menus appear to have fewer claims and the use of the term fresh appears to have declined since 2008. Menu designers appear to be focusing on winning through ingredient differentiation rather than being part of the latest health craze. This change in claims is likely related, in part, to recent menu labeling laws requiring chain restaurants to include calorie counts on menus. The emergence of the claim made-in-house signifies the end of a pendulum swing from full scratch production in the early 1960s to extensive use of convenience products by the 1990’s. The latter was in response to the growing cost of labour and shortage of skilled culinarians. As consumers demand more “real” food, in-house production of certain menu items or ingredients is perceived as a strategic advantage, despite the associated additional labour cost. PRICING

Examination of average starter, entrée and dessert prices reveals operators continue to experience significant price pressure. In the past 10 years, starter prices have experienced compound average annual growth of 3.9 per cent (above inflation), likely due in part to our observation that many starters are now either shared or substitutes for main course items, reflecting lighter and more social dining. Entrée prices have experience compound average annual growth of 3.5 per cent (above inflation), likely reflecting

WE DON’T BREW OUR BEER FOR THE AWARDS. BUT HE DOES! Our brewmaster, Andrew Kohnen, threw away a successful career in logistics to pursue his dream of reconnecting with the brewing roots of his family. This carried him to the UK’s prestigious Brewlab in Sunderland, England, where he procured the alchemy that would drive his signature brewing style. He took what he could from there and ventured to Scotland, Cornwall, and ultimately to Krefeld, Germany, working in the same brewery that had belonged to his ancestors. He came home to Canada for Hockley. You could call it dumb, but we call it destiny.

Andrew Kohnen Brewmaster



pressure to reduce food costs due to higher labour costs and occupancy costs. Remembering that chicken is the most used protein, when price increases are compared to increases in chicken costs, operators are clearly leveraging chicken to improve revenues and margins. Such price increases have been needed to balance against increases in beef and pork costs. The fact remains that growing revenue through price increases is highly challenging. Stealing market share from competitors is the secret to revenue growth and many operators are attempting to do s o t h r o u g h m e n u i n g r e d i e n t a n d p r e s e n t at i o n differentiation. Interestingly, compound average annual dessert price growth has only been 0.5 per cent, likely due in part to the introduction of light dessert bites. Operators consider gaining many sales of low priced dessert items better than very limited sales of higher priced desserts as consumers watch their spending carefully. Desserts sales are, in reality, gravy for the operator. Gross margin on desserts drops right to the bottom line, other than the fact that dessert sales may extend table times and therefore table turns. Out of necessity, desserts need to be quick to prepare and serve, create a wow factor with the guest and be consumed relatively quickly. THE FUTURE OF THE MENU

So where does the menu go from here? fsSTRATEGY suggests that menus in the next five years will continue to evolve, driven by a number of factors. The outlook for industry sales is more of the same. Stealing market share through differentiation of menu concepts and ingredients will be crucial to success. Canadian diners are becoming more adventurous and are willing to try new and different flavours and foods. Having said this, Canadians are expected to remain fairly conservative in terms of the proteins they seek on menus and the cooking methods they prefer.

Differentiating the offer.

As the Millennial generation continues to grow in importance in terms of restaurant spending, menus will become more about socializing. Menu categories will blur and menu sections may be defined by dining time. We noticed one top 10 chain categorizing menu items by protein g roup. Traditional menu design will be questioned.

Creating a more social experience.

The pendulum will likely continue to swing toward provision of more in-house produced items – certainly not everything on the menu but signature items that can be leveraged in the mind of consumers to show that food is real and different.

While cooking methods are unlikely to change, improvements in cooking technology will be adopted that can meet consumer cooking method interests while speeding cook times and table turns.

Leveraging cooking technology.

Using proteins to your advantage. The ranking of proteins in terms of relative importance is unlikely to change (barring any significant cost change events); however, what cuts, portion sizes and how we use these proteins will continue to undergo extensive scrutiny to achieve targeted food cost ratios and the level of differentiation required to feed the market-share-stealing machine.

Pricing will continue to be a challenge. Minimum wages will likely continue to rise as governments seek to achieve living wages. Operators will also seek to find ways to compensate their staff members even better to protect their investments in talent while at the same time seek technologies and processes to improve labour efficiencies. Competitive forces and the economy will be the governing factors as operators try to find the delicate balance between price and costs.

Balancing price and cost.

Even when operators get the menu selections and ingredients right for the consumer, optimizing the performance of the restaurant menu is necessary. Some chains and independents claim they e n g i n e e r t h e i r m e n u s e f f e c t i ve ly ; h owe ve r, i n fsSTRATEGY’s experience, the extensive science behind menu optimization is not always truly understood and revenue and margin is often left on the table.

Menu optimization.

Building a restaurant menu has truly become a science. Operators must have a detailed understanding of how their menu is performing and what it takes to differentiate their menu to steal market share and optimize revenues and margins from their client base. 1. Chains for which menus were reviewed included Boston Pizza, East Side Mario’s, Jack Astor’s Kelsey’s, Milestone’s, Montana’s, Moxie’s, St.Hubert Bar-B-Q, Swiss Chalet, The Keg and White Spot. Geoff Wilson is a Principal with fsSTRATEGY Inc. a niche consulting firm based in Toronto focused on assisting foodservice operators to enhance customer satisfaction, revenues and return on investment. For more information visit

Rethinking in-house production.

Ethnic adventures. Ethnic flavours and food styles will continue to be explored as Canada’s population continues to become more ethnically diverse. 16 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

For more on food and menu trends, visit


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Ontario’s Menu Labelling Law Mid-Year Check-Up By Eric Mayzel and Noah Leszcz


On January 1, 2017, Ontario’s menu labelling legislation, the Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015 (the “Act”) came into force. The Act requires that foodservice businesses with 20 or more locations operating in the province under the same name, or a substantially similar name, display calorie information for standard food and drink items, as well as a prescribed statement regarding recommended daily caloric intake.

The Act has broad application, and failure to comply can result in significant fines. Owners and operators of foodservice premises operating in Ontario should remain informed of the requirements of the Act and ensure that they are in compliance. WHO DOES THE ACT APPLY TO?

The Act applies to any foodservice premise that prepares food for immediate consumption, either on the premises or elsewhere, and that meets one of the two following requirements: (1) it is part of a chain of 20 or more locations in Ontario that operate under the same or a substantially similar name and that offer the same or substantially similar standard food items (regardless of who owns the locations); or (2) it is a cafeteria-style foodservice provider that sells food to the general public, and that is owned or operated by a person that owns or operates 20 or more such businesses in Ontario. Certain types of food premises are exempt from the requirement to display caloric information, including premises that operate for less than 60 days in a calendar year, or that are located in a school, private school, correctional institution, or child care centre.

Based on the broad definition above, the Act potentially applies to a wide range of foodservice providers, including not only restaurant chains, but also grocery and convenience stores, bakeries and coffee shops, movie theatres, and other businesses that prepare food for immediate consumption on or off-site. WHAT ITEMS ARE SUBJECT TO THE ACT?

The Act requires that caloric content be displayed for every “standard food item” — a restaurant-type food or drink item that meets the following three criteria: (1) it is sold in servings that are standardized for portion and content; (2) it is served or processed and prepared primarily in a foodservice premises that is regulated by the Act; and (3) it is intended to be consumed immediately, on the premises or elsewhere, with no further preparation by the customer. Certain food and drink items are exempt from the Act. The exempt items include: (1) items offered for sale less than 90 days per calendar year; (2) self-serve condiments that are available free of charge and not listed on a menu; (3) items prepared

specifically for inpatients of a hospital or residents of a long-term care home; and (4) items prepared on an exceptional basis in response to a specific customer request, and which deviate from the foodservice provider’s standard offerings. Additional items are exempt from the display requirements under the Act, including standard food items in a vending machine and certain items sold at grocery and convenience stores, such as deli meats, cheeses, olives, antipasti, prepared fruits and vegetables, and flavoured breads, buns and rolls. The Act also provides potential exemptions for alcoholic beverages, which are described later in this article. HOW MUST CALORIC INFORMATION BE POSTED? Food Items Listed on Menus: The caloric

content of each standard food item must be posted directly on each menu on which it is listed. The term “menu” is broadly defined, and includes paper menus, electronic menus, menu boards, and drive-through menus, among other things. Online menus, promotional flyers, and advertisements may be exempt if they do not list the prices for standard food items or if they do not list the standard food items that may be ordered for delivery or takeaway. Food Items on Display: Where standard food items are put on display at the regulated food service premises, the caloric content must be posted on a label or tag identifying the item. However, that requirement does not apply to alcoholic beverages that are on display, | Summer 2017 19

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MINDING YOUR BUSINESS standard food items that are labelled with a prescribed nutritional facts table, or standard food items available in a vending machine. Display Format for Menus, Labels and Tags:

The Act and its Regulations contain detailed requirements for how caloric information is to be displayed. For example, the information must be next to, and in the same font and at least the same size as, the name or price of the standard food item to which it refers. The Act contains specific display requirements for items that are available in several flavours, varieties or sizes, as well as for combination meals, items intended to be shared, and optional toppings, sauces, dressings, and condiments. Signage for Self-Serve Food Items: For selfserve food items, such as buffets or soda dispensers, a regulated food service premises must publicly post one or more signs setting out the number of calories per serving and the relevant serving size. Each sign must be in close proximity to the self-serve item, include the name of the item, and be positioned in a way that an individual could reasonably be expected to associate the caloric information with the item, among other requirements. Alcoholic Beverages: Alcoholic beverages are exempt from the display requirements of the Act as long as a specific chart setting out the approximate caloric content of standard alcoholic beverages is listed on a menu, label or tag, in a prescribed format. A copy of the chart, and the specific formatting and placement requirements, are set out in the Regulations to the Act. REQUIREMENT TO POST A CONTEXTUAL STATEMENT

In addition to posting itemized caloric information, regulated foodservice premises must also clearly and openly post one of the following two contextual statements: “The average adult requires approximately 2,000 to 2,400 calories per day; however, individual calorie needs may vary.” or “Adults and youth (ages 13 and older) need an average of 2,000 calories a day, and children (ages 4 to 12) need an average of 1,500 calories a day. However, individual needs vary.” As of January 1, 2018, only the second statement may be used. The statement must be contained in menus in a prescribed format, and may also be required to be

posted on signage in certain circumstances. French versions of the contextual statements are provided in the Regulations to the Act. CONSEQUENCES OF NON-COMPLIANCE

Inspectors appointed under the Act may inspect a regulated foodservice premises or a business premises of a company that owns, operates, franchises, or licenses one or more regulated foodservice premises. Noncompliance may result in a fine being assessed against the owner or operator of the regulated foodservice premises. For corporations, fines are fixed at up to $5,000 for each day on which there is noncompliance and $10,000 per day for any second or subsequent offence. For individuals, fines are fixed at up to $500 for each day of non-compliance, and $1,000 per day for a second or subsequent offence. A director or officer of a corporation that owns or operates a regulated foodservice premises is required to take all reasonable measures to ensure compliance and is subject to the fines described above for any violation of that duty. The Act also raises potential implications for franchisors. It applies to any person who owns or operates a regulated foodservice, which is defined to mean a “person who has responsibility for and control over the activities carried on at a regulated foodservice premise, and may include a franchisor…” Franchisors of restaurant or foodservice systems operating in Ontario are encouraged to speak with counsel regarding the application of the Act and the prospect of franchisor liability.


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Ontario is the first province to introduce mandatory legislation of this sort. However, in 2011, British Columbia implemented the Informed Dining Program, which is a voluntary program aimed at providing consumers with increased nutritional information in foodservice establishments, particularly with respect to the caloric and sodium content of each menu item. At the federal level, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is in the midst of a food labeling modernization initiative, suggesting that menu labelling and food labelling reform will remain an important issue in the years to come.

Eric Mayzel and Noah Leszcz are franchise lawyers at Cassels Brock and Blackwell LLP, a Canadian law firm of more than 200 lawyers and a national leader in franchise law. This article does not constitute legal advice. For further guidance please contact Eric (emayzel@casselsbrock. com) or Noah (

RIGHT PART, RIGHT TIME, EVERY TIME. ® 800.239.5251 | Summer 2017 21



Bold flavours and healthy ingredients add a creative touch to sauces and bases

22 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

SAUCES AND BASES From adding their own unique ingredients to jazz up a standard sauce base to answering the call for healthy, ethnically influenced recipes, Canadian chefs have a growing number of options for topping their creations with delicious sauces. Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News spoke to chefs and industry suppliers to get their take on the latest trends and innovations in sauce and base recipes. Read on to see what our panel of experts had to say. . . Participants: Krista Brown, President, Linden Valley Gourmet Graham Hayes, Corporate Chef, French’s Food Company Ryan Marquis, Corporate Chef, C.W. Shasky Marilyne Petitclerc, Culinary Marketing Specialist, Aliments ED Foods

What are some of the most exciting trends and developments when it comes to sauces and bases for restaurants in Canada in 2017? Krista Brown: I am really excited about all

the sauce and base trends that I am seeing. We are experiencing rare, unique flavours and textures that are introducing a new “bold” into common dishes. Some traditional dishes from contrasting backgrounds are finding their way into Canadian restaurants and hearts. Personal health is only picking up steam in the food and beverage industry. Healthy versions with lower fats, sugars and sodium have taken over the market. We are all creating sauces and bases that are light and fresh, creating flavours that complement the dish without overpowering its origin. One of the most popular trends in 2017 is all about fresh selections. You will find chefs are taking pride in growing their own ingredients and garnishes free of pesticides and herbicides. In many cases where they are unable to grow their own produce, you will see restaurants drawing from other local sources such as markets, farms and orchards.

Graham Hayes: Big, bold and real flavours are what I see in store for Canada for the rest of 2017. And by that I mean, I think more and more Canadians are starting to embrace real barbecue. Before I go on, there is a difference between grilling and real barbecue. If anyone has been to the Deep South in the U.S. they will know what I am talking about. There is nothing wrong with grilling at all, but in terms of flavour trends I see barbecue and smokehouses becoming increasingly mainstream. Of course when it comes to true barbecue you have to have the right sauce. These sauces have to be authentic and base in the real roots of barbecue. Ryan Marquis: We are on the cusp of the smoky trend of sauces and flavours such as chipotle, smoked barbecue sauces, and guacamole entering mainstream.

Influenced by the trend that people are seeking healthier menu items, new sauces that are entering the growth phase and aligning with this new trend and considered ahead of the curve are based around herbs and fruits. You’re beginning to see appleflavoured barbecue sauces, lemon and herb dressings and sauces, cucumber flavours, ginger sauces and even basil sauces and drinks. The vast range of flavour between different fruits and herbs will open a large variance and change in flavour. This new trend of flavours will pair well with chicken, fish and salads and we should see an increase in these menu items.


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Marilyne Petitclerc: Food trend predictions for 2017 unanimously call for healthy foods with benefits ranging from low sodium, to allergen free, to natural “clean label” ingredients, and others. These trends are significant as they will have a big impact on the health of Canadians. Our answer to this trend is our LUDA H line of gluten-free, lower sodium soup bases and sauce mixes for the foodservice market. Another mega trend that has an impact on sauces and bases is authentic ethnic foods, which also includes authentic Canadian flavours, such as poutine and maple. LUDA offers a large selection of authentic poutine sauces, with recipes expertly crafted by Québécois chefs. What are the key factors that are currently driving recipe innovation and the use of sauces and bases? KB: Gourmet made simple. With time being

so valuable, consumers are looking for pleasure-seeking options that can be achieved in a short time frame. Sauces and bases play a valuable role here, giving new life to simple pasta dishes, stir-fries and even sandwiches. With more of the population becoming health conscious, consumers are looking for ways infuse flavor without the return of high calories and fats. Sauces and bases are a popular way to achieve these results.

RIGHT PART, RIGHT TIME, EVERY TIME. ® 800.239.5251 | Summer 2017 23


GH: A major factor that is driving recipe innovation is that people want to eat so-called real food. They want to truthfully know where it’s from, who made it, what’s in it, and is it good to go into my body. People want real food and there isn’t anything much more real than eating food that tastes rich and full of flavour. The biggest challenge is knowing what foods to serve and how to make them fit on your menu.

Millennials have caused a movement towards healthier dishes and more diverse options. Canada now boasts one of the most multicultural diverse countries and it shows in the restaurant business. Some of the trends we are seeing in this category are being led by ethnic flavours, maturity of customer tastes, and lifestyle trends such as healthy eating. Ethnic flavours are guiding flavour exploration in a big way, and this category has become an ideal vehicle to bring different flavours together.


More than just a trend, “clean labels” are becoming the rule, as consumers expect the foods they buy to contain minimal, natural, and recognizable ingredients. This trend certainly influences recipe and


product innovation at Aliments ED Foods. In answer to this trend, we developed the LUDA PRO line of “clean label,” meat-first bases containing only essential ingredients and that are flavorful, simple, and efficient to use. For chefs’ and operators’ convenience and storage needs, LUDA PRO products come either in a concentrated paste or in a dry base. What are some creative ways chefs can include sauces and bases to expand beyond traditional recipes and dayparts? KB: Just as mixing two unexpected textures

or shades can create a masterpiece for an artist or painter, so can adding a sauce or a

base for a chef. I like to use Linden Valley’s Strawberry Pomegranate dressing as a garnish on my cheesecake. Or sometimes I will whip in some cream cheese and icing sugar and use it for a dip with my fruit. For a succulent summertime treat you can add the Linden Valley Ginger Lemon Pepper to your burger patty, or even throw some Linden Valley Robust Raspberry Dressing into a saucepan with some olive oil and sundried tomato pesto to create a great topping for your pasta and veggies. GH: I tell people to look at what they have on their menu. If you are concerned about trying a new recipe find a platform that your

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Original base, and have an incredible sauce for your pork ribs. Or work with your spirits provider and add some whiskey to our Texas Smoky to add to your burritos to give it some kick. I think Chefs need to simply begin to cross some boundaries and avoid the norm — something like sriracha scrambled eggs in a breakfast burrito. You could also try and use some Cajun sauce on breakfast sandwiches. Really try to think unconventionally and use different sauces from different cuisines. Add more herbs and spices into dishes that are unconventional. Beginning to cross different-cultured flavours like maybe an egg sandwich topped with curry sauce.



guests love and trust, then use that familiar platform to introduce a new product, like a burger. So let’s top it with pulled pork in a Cattlemen’s® Mississippi honey barbecue sauce, some slaw on a fresh bun, now we have something that is a winning dish and MP: LUDA sauce mixes are building blocks everyone is happy! Cattlemen’s has six to enhance flavour in any dish. Chefs can options for barbecue right now; two of use a vegan sauce mix, such as LUDA H which are barbecue sauce bases: our Texas demi-glace sauce mix, to recreate a Smoky and St. Louis Original, which are plant-based version of a carnivorous meant to be just that, a base sauce. You can comfort food favourite, such as a vegan add other flavours or liquids to the sauce, to shepherd’s pie. The LUDA H demi-glace enhance and create your own custom mix. sauce mix will give the dish an umami Third-page Ad_Layout_Final.pdf For example, you can take your favorite4/27/17 and 6:27:43 meaty PMflavour with none of the craft beer, and add it to our St. Louis animal-based ingredients.

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RIGHT PART, RIGHT TIME, EVERY TIME. ® 800.239.5251 | Summer 2017 25

THE PERFECT COUPLE Beer and Food: A Natural Match

By Roger Mittag


In most circles, the concept of pairing a drink with food defaults to wine. However, beer is a fantastic choice for many different reasons. First of all, beer is basically a series of ingredients that have been cooked and therefore, the flavours and aromas in beer are quite similar, if not identical, to the flavours and aromatics in food. Secondly, the carbonation in beer and the bitterness from hops help to cleanse our palates, leaving us to get the most from our culinary experience. Finally, beer is such a wonderful social beverage that breaks down boundaries and opens conversation.

26 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

You might think that pairing beer with food can be difficult but if you follow these simple guidelines, you will find the journey of beer and food pairing to be exhilarating. COMPLEMENT

The goal of complementing is to match the flavours of the beer with the flavours of the food. Think in terms of lighter beer with lighter fare and fuller flavoured beer with


robust foods. The following are other examples of complementing food with beer. (the meat in this case is light and flaky and won’t be overpowered by the light beer)

Fish – Light Beer

Salmon or Trout – Wheat Beers (especially German Weissbiers – are good because the delicate flavours and aromas are gentle and not too dramatic)

(light to amber in colour) are generally light in body and will complement the lighter flavour of the meat

Poultry – Lagers

Dark Lagers and Dark Ales (the roasted flavours, coffee and chocolate characteristics match well with robust flavours in the meat)

Beef –

Pork – Amber lagers or Amber Ales (not too powerful but have just the right amount of flavour – caramel to support the flavours of the meat)

Spicy dishes such as Thai – Belgian Wit/ German Weiss Bier (the spice notes and soft citric qualities are great complements to the spice (cilantro)

Stout/Porter (the chocolate flavours of the beer will definitely complement the body of the dessert)

Chocolate dessert –

Sharp Cheeses (Blue, Stilton, Roquefort) –

Require a Lambic style fruit beer or a Trappist style strong beer (the higher carbonation in the fruit beer and the higher alcohol and sweetness of the strong beer will cut through the sharpness of the cheeses, resulting in a softer flavour in the cheese) Pilsners or Lagered Ales (slightly more hopping and bitterness will slice through the richness of these soups and act as a palate cleanser)

Creamy soups – CUT

In this case, the beer will cut through some of the richer flavours and tastes in the food in order to cleanse your palate, so that you don’t feel so full. Need a lighter flavoured beer with some good propor tion of bitter ness, like a Lagered Ale or an American Pale Ale – the bitterness in these beers cuts through the richness of the meat Shellfish and Lobster –

Dark Lagers or Ales (the higher levels of bitterness in these beers will cut through the thick texture of the food)

Caesar Salad or Alfredo Sauces –


The goal of contrast is to provide an opportunity for both the beer and the food to be presented separately Curries – Pilsners with more pronounced bitterness (cut through the heat of the spice and showcase some of the more delicate and interesting notes). If you want to intensify the spice characteristics, then look to an American IPA. The intense hop notes help to bring out more of the burn in the spice.

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Stouts and Porters (the briny and where the beer starts. Each should character of the oysters are contrasted make the other better. Once you understand these concepts, sharply to the bitter and robust it’s relatively easy to take the next step. characters of the stout) At the beginning, the main match should Chocolate desserts - The best contrast always be the protein or the major here is to use a beer with fruit (beers component on the plate. However, it is such as Belgian Lambic Kriek or equally important to recognize the Framboise). The easiest way to describe importance of side dishes and also which this is as if you were eating a Blackforest spices and other ingredients have been Cake where the chocolate and the used. cherries help to support one another but neither overpower the other. THE NEXT STEPS Take at least one dish and pair it up on Spicy Mexican – Light beer (cold and the menu with a specific beer. Not refreshing, the beer puts out the fire, only will this help your staff to cleansing the palate and then showcases understand how beer and food go the actual flavours in the food) together but it puts the concepts of Oysters –

A great beer and food match is apparent when you can’t tell where the food stops

beer and food into the minds of your guests. It’s also very important to venture outside using only the pairing concept theory. I would strongly suggest that you do periodic tastings with your staff. Once a week or once a month, use four or five different menu items and sample them with a variety of different beers so that ever yone can visualize and experience how well beer and food can actually go together. Have fun with this. Beer and food pairings can help to increase sales and profitability but they also create new and exciting experiences for guests and will leave them with a vibrant memory of a great culinary occasion.

Roger Mittag is the President of Thirst For Knowledge Inc., Canada’s leading beer education company, and founder of Prud’homme Beer Certification® (




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28 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

What's for Breakfast? Trends and Innovation on Canadian Breakfast Menus

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New additions to breakfast menus across Canada By Laura McGuire and Aaron Jourden Opportunities for operators to boost traffic at breakfast are expanding. Growing consumer interest in around-the-clock foodservice options, as well as a greater emphasis on convenience and better-for-you attributes in the morning are leading to some breakfast movements gaining greater traction. Here’s a look at three trends operators can incorporate into menu development to appeal to consumers and boost business around breakfast. DIFFERENTIATING WITH ALL-DAY BREAKFAST

Seventy-eight per cent of Gen Zers (born between 1996 and 2010) say they enjoy breakfast foods at nontraditional times, according to Technomic data. To take advantage of younger consumers’ high level of interest in anytime breakfast, operators are increasingly offering morning fare beyond early hours. This includes making more breakfast options available on lunch and dinner menus as well as for daytime and late-night snacking occasions. McDonald’s All Day Breakfast platform has helped the chain turn around same-

store sales and solidify positive momentum in the United States. Now the chain has brought the much-hyped program to locations across Canada, where diners can f ind a selection of McMuff in sandwiches, hotcakes and hash browns at any time of day. Not to be outdone, A&W also launched an all-day breakfast program earlier this year that focuses on handhelds like egg sandwiches and breakfast wraps complemented by hash browns and coffee. A&W says the expanded availability of breakfast beyond morning hours has resonated with Millennials in particular. The company has cited all-day breakfast as one of the growth opportunities it’s pursuing to boost overall sales. All-day breakfast innovation can lend itself to traditional morning options

appearing on later daypart menus, such as is the case with McDonald’s and A&W’s programs, or it can involve adding breakfast twists to standard lunch and dinner fare, such as a burger topped with eggs, bacon and gravy. Mini versions of breakfast items (e.g., breakfast sliders, pancake balls, etc.) can fit the bill for between-meal snacking occasions.

Top Breads 15.7%











English Muffin






Rye Bread


Multigrain Bread

Base: Q1 2017 788 menu items Source: MenuMonitor, Technomic


Top Reasons for Choosing An Away-From-Home Breakfast Sandwich 50%


Was craving a breakfast sandwich



Convenient location of establishment



Able to easily eat the sandwich on the go

Source: Technomic Canadian Sandwich Consumer Trend Report


Breakfast sandwiches are on the rise, growing 10 per cent in menu incidence over a five-year period, according to Technomic research. Breakfast sandwiches hold appeal in the morning because these items satisfy several attributes that consumers seek for their first meal of the day. Craveability is cited as the top reason consumers select a breakfast sandwich over other breakfast items during foodservice occasions. These handhelds typically consist of a variety of indulgent






More likely to satisfy my hunger


and comforting ingredients, like bacon, eggs, sausage and cheese, piled together for a filling on-the-go meal option. Convenience attributes like venue location and item portability are also key factors for away-from-home breakfast sandwich purchases. Breakfast sandwiches can be found in a wide array of foodservice establishments, from restaurants and hotels to convenience stores and universities, which makes them highly accessible to a broad range of consumers. For instance, Depanneur Le Pick Up, an independent convenience store in Montreal, specializes



It was part of a breakfast combo



Able to easily carry the sandwich to my destination


in scratch-made morning fare such as a breakfast sandwich with egg, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. Breakfast sa ndw iches a re a lso extremely adaptable and can highlight a variety of cheeses, condiments, sauces, proteins, veggies and bread bases. In fact, the leading breakfast sandwich breads range from more traditional bases such as bagels and English muffins, to ethnic-inspired options such as tortillas, to playful mashups like doughnut sandwiches, to higher-quality specialty bread options like ciabatta.


Plant-based items at breakfast not only attract vegans and vegetarians but also “flexitarians” who avoid meat on occasion for health or environmental concerns. And while other trends that address dietary concerns like gluten-free peak and recede, Technomic’s MenuMonitor data shows that

plant-based dishes are proving more lasting. In fact, mentions of “vegetarian” on Canadian menus grew 7.2 per cent over the past two years and 24.5 per cent over the past year. A challenge for operators executing this trend is to feature these items in approachable, flavourful and craveable formats. Tried-and-true plant proteins like beans and grains have the consumer appeal of being familiar and filling. Vancouver’s Bandidas Taqueria menus a Mexican Breakfast that substitutes pinto beans for meat, along with free-range eggs, apple salsa, purple cabbage, guacamole and two handmade corn tortillas. Tofu and soy substitutes are also growing more popular as replacements for traditional breakfast proteins. These ingredients often mirror the flavours,

textures and even look of items such as bacon, sausage and eggs. For instance, The Harvest Room restaurant in Edmonton’s Fairmont Hotel MacDonald serves a Tofu Scrambler that spotlights scrambled tofu in place of eggs, served with veggies and a pureed black bean drizzle. The milder flavour and flexibility of these plant proteins also make them an easy compliment for bolder and ethnic ingredients, such as those found in Mediterranean, Latin and Asian cuisines. These breakfast trends have strong growth opportunity and far to go before they peak. Menuing breakfast options throughout the day, as well as varieties of breakfast sandwiches and meatless options will appeal to consumers’ current wants in the morning while helping build a modern perception of operators’ menus.

Laura McGuire is Content Director and Aaron Jourden is Managing Editor, Global Content, at Technomic. Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry. Visit

Preferred plant-based proteins 63% Beans









Base: 511 consumers who ever eat fully vegetarian/vegan options/substitutes

23% Tofu




Soy-based meat substitutes


Q: What types of plant-based proteins are you most likely to eat? Source: Technomic Canadian Centre of the Plate Consumer Trend Report | Summer 2017 33


Breakfast Evolution QSRs pave the way for breakfast dining trends By Geoff Wilson

Breakfast has become a significant daypart in Canada’s foodservice industry. However, the recent growth of breakfast in Canadian foodservice has manifested itself more so in quickservice restaurants (“QSR”) rather than full-service restaurants (“FSR”).

34 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


FSR breakfast traffic and all dollars as a percentage of total foodservice remained relatively flat from 2012 to 2016. However, the percentage share of traffic and dollars spent at breakfast in QSR grew from 2012 to 2016, especially in 2015 and 2016. In 2016, breakfast represented 22.7 per cent of all traffic and 19.0 per cent of all dollars spent. NPD Group, Inc. data also indicates that compound annual Canadian QSR breakfast day part sales and traffic growth rates from 2012 to 2016 were 16.2 per cent and 12.5 per cent respectively. Google Trends suggests that searches of “Breakfast Near Me” rose from 0 (indicating the least number of searches) in January 2012 to 100 (indicating the greatest number of searches) in July 2016. The growth curve increased dramatically after January 2015. This growth parallels the previously mentioned increase in breakfast sales and traffic. In many respects, the breakfast day part in Canada’s QSR sector is a micro climate of the overall foodservice industry. Key trends in the broader foodservice industry are being reflected in the breakfast day part of QSRs. The days of consumers wanting three square meals a day at predictable times are over. Contemporary foodservice customers, especially Millennials, want to eat when they want, where they want and what they want. Is it any surprise that McD ona ld ’s i nt ro duce d a l l- day breakfast in the United States in 2016 and both McDonald’s and A&W have recently announced the concept in Canada? Flexible Dining Times.

PRODUCT PROFILE Create the Perfect Breakfast Blend with Kitchenaid Our KitchenAid® Commercial blenders combine a powerful motor with technology such as our patented Talon™ asymmetrical blade for exceptional results. The jar is designed to work with the blade to quickly pull in ingredients and the beveled edges allow clean pouring from three sides. For thicker ingredients, the included tamper has a flexible silicone edge for scraping every bit from the side of the jar. The tamper, jar, and lid are all dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up. The coulis cycle on our new commercial culinary blender is great for adding fresh fruit sauces to your breakfast selections. Using the preprogrammed cycle, you achieve silky smooth, consistent results every time. Continuously variable speeds and three timed cycles add versatility and convenience. With the right tools, it’s easy to combine fresh and healthy ingredients into your breakfast menu and go beyond the “greasy spoon” breakfast selections. With a die cast base, control knobs and dials, our commercial blenders are built to last. After all, they are assembled with pride in the same Greenville, OH factory that our legendary KitchenAid stand mixers are assembled in. For more information, visit

Customizat ion. Today’s restaurant consumers crave the ability to customize their orders, designing their menu choices to their personal preferences. For its breakfast entrees, Tim Hortons now offers f ive different carriers (English muff ins, bagels, biscuits, bagels and wraps) and six different primary fillings, catering to this trend.

Consistent with the customization trend, consumers are also looking for ways to purchase more premium products, often as a treat or as a way to convey status. Operators have responded by creating various price level tiers in their menus or focusing their concept on a specific pricing tier. Operators like the greater average

Premiumization. | Summer 2017 35

BREAKFAST The following table tracks the appearance of breakfast sandwiches and coffee in the Top 10 menu items and beverages respectively in the commercial foodservice industry.

Top 10 Beverages Coffee Rank























Top 10 Foods Breakfast Sandwiches

Five Ways to Win with Value-Added Eggs By T.R. James 1. Use liquid eggs anywhere you’d use shell eggs. Liquid eggs are shell eggs, only they’ve already been cracked, beaten, and pasteurized so they have better shelf life and are easier to store than shell eggs. Whether you need whole eggs for baking, egg yolks for hollandaise, or egg whites for a meringue, liquid eggs offer the same performance as shell eggs, in far less time. 2. Build grab’n’go breakfasts with them. Who says a fast breakfast can’t be delicious and nutritious? Frozen scrambled egg breakfast wraps can be re-heated in minutes on a panini press. Frozen scrambled egg patties can become a breakfast sandwich in minutes – just heat and serve with your choice of toppings on your best-selling bread. 3. Add them to your beverage menu. The smoothie is the perfect health fix for people on the go. Expand your smoothie options by adding a shot of liquid egg white for a protein boost. Or add a ready-to-serve, highprotein flavored egg white drink to your beverage menu. If you want to glam up your evening beverage service, elevate your cocktails with egg white foam. 4. Incorporate them in your buffet or cafeteria table. For high-volume foodservice, value-added scrambled eggs are ideal. Just re-heat from frozen in a steamer or convection oven and serve. Even better, boil-in-bag scrambled egg mixes deliver fluffy, perfectly seasoned scrambled eggs that retain heat longer than regular scrambled eggs, making them ideal for buffets and cafeterias. 5. Let them inspire you. The ways in which value-added eggs can be elevated are limitless. The plain omelette can be stuffed with your favorite ingredients to create a signature omelette. Scrambled egg mix or liquid egg are the ideal base for a quiche or frittata. Even the classic egg salad is easier when made with pre-diced hard cooked eggs – leaving you time to get creative with the ingredients. Shell eggs are traditional. Value-added eggs are inspirational. Why not put them to work for you? T.R. James, B.Sc., PMP is a food marketing specialist at EggSolutions. EggSolutions is the largest egg further processor in Canada and the first Canadian egg processing facility to receive SQF Level 3 Excellent certification from the Safe Quality Food Institute. For more information, visit

36 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

Rank 2009




Importance1 5.2%
















1. Percentage of meals and snacks that included this menu item.

Source: NPD Group Inc.

check associated with premium offers. This trend is not unlike the stratification of brands in the accommodation sector. McDonald’s added premium espressobased hot beverages. Starbucks offers prem iu m brea k fa st sa ndw iches , consistent with their premium hot beverage positioning. Authenticity. More and more, consumers

are focusing on the food they consume – where it comes from, how it is processed and how it is prepared. Today’s consumers are better educated about food, its sources a nd its preparation; seeking what they call “real food.” McDonalds fresh cracked eggs in its breakfast sandwiches provide a strategic advantage. A&W now offers bacon raised without antibiotics. Some QSR that offer hot beverages have documented the source of their coffee




Shell Eggs. Simplified.TM ®/TM EggSolutions®. ©2017




It’s Coffee Time! Besides its deliciously bitter, full-bodied taste and enticing aroma, there’s a lot of potential benefit packed into a quality cup of joe. From assisting in weight loss to improving athletic performance to helping reduce certain forms of cancer, you can offer your customers much more than great flavour with their next cup of perfectly roasted and brewed coffee. Here are just a few of the perks (if you’ll excuse the pun) of offering the highest quality coffee: Coffee can help with weight loss If you are watching your weight, recent studies suggest that coffee can help reduce body fat, contains almost no calories (if taken black) and contains zero carbohydrates. If you are on a low-carb diet, start the day with a zero-carb cup of black coffee. Coffee contains numerous healthy antioxidants For many North Americans, coffee is one of the highest sources of antioxidants (chemicals that fight free radicals and may protect cells from damage) in their daily diet. According to the Coffee Association of Canada and the National Coffee Association of U.S.A., antioxidants in coffee may protect against certain forms of cancer, as well as diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Antioxidants may also potentially aid in losing weight, as well as help in protecting eye health. Coffee can help improve athletic performance For decades, athletes from amateur bodybuilders to professional football players have used coffee to enhance their physical performance. Coffee is also widely viewed in a number of scientific studies as a natural way to help improve mental alertness and endurance. Research suggests that the caffeine in coffee may have an “ergogenic” effect, meaning that it can boost performance by reducing symptoms of fatigue. Coffee can help reduce the risk of developing serious ailments According to the Coffee Association of Canada, “one to five cups of coffee per day has been associated with fewer incidences of death from cardiovascular disease. These results are based on a massive Harvard-led study of 200,000 people over a 30-year period.” Meanwhile, the National Association of Coffee of U.S.A. reports that the National Institutes of Health found coffee consumption may reduce the risk of overall mortality: “Scientists concluded that the risk reduction held true for both all deaths and for deaths related to specific causes, including heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, and diabetes.” Above information provided courtesy of Brazilian Canadian Coffee. For over 40 years, Brazilian Canadian Coffee has been roasting some of the most premium coffees found on earth. As a Canadian leader in the breakfast segment of the food service industry, we are dedicated to educating customers on the significance of a good cup of coffee for their business. Contact us at: 1-800-387-7423 or 416-749-2000 or email sales@

38 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

beans, seeking to differentiate themselves on ethical growing practices. Local Food. Consumers seeking out foodservice operators with ethical supply chains are also favouring foodservice operators who procure food locally. While using very local foods is challenging for national chains, some QSR promote the local nature of breakfast items such as eggs.

In 1983, Chrysler Corporation introduced minivans complete with the first version of cup holders in vehicles. No one would think about manufacturing a vehicle without cup holders today. The factor that differentiates QSR breakfast from FSR breakfast is portability. Today’s QSR breakfast consumers want to eat in the car, on the bus, as they walk, in class and at their desks. The availability of portable breakfast foods is crucial to our busy lifestyle. QSRs have tapped into this trend extensively.


Innovative Packaging. QSR breakfast packaging has also evolved over time. Key factors driving innovation have included heat retention, reliability (i.e., no leaks), comfort (i.e., easy to hold and eat from), fit

Good people making good coffee.

Raise a mug to a better brew. As specialty roasters of premium coffee, we’ve been proudly serving independent and franchise restaurants and cafes across Canada since 1975. Sourcing some of the most flavourful regions from across the globe, our goal is bringing the best beans to your table. To find out how we can make good coffee for you, visit our website.


Yogurt A nutritious boost to your healthy lifestyle Yogurt is part of a healthy lifestyle, and for good reason. It contains a significant amount of calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin B. It contains protein of very high quality and can also be enriched with vitamin D. It is no surprise that yogurt’s nutritional profile has led the scientific community to evaluate its impact on various health-related issues, including diabetes, cancer, weight management, cardiovascular disease, bone health and intestinal health. A 175 g serving of plain Greek yogurt provides 17 g of protein. Therefore, eating Greek yogurt helps you reduce hunger and increase the feeling of satiety. If you often eat your evening meal rather late, adding Greek yogurt as a snack can help keep your hunger in check until the next meal. For a higher protein intake, add a few chopped nuts to your yogurt. Another potential health benefit of yogurt is that it appears to raise the level of serotonin in the body. This neurotransmitter increases our sense of well-being. Although more studies are needed to confirm this theory, it is interesting to know that eating yogurt could be a morethan-delicious way to help fight depression. What we also know is that the bacterial fermentation process found in yogurt helps extend the shelf life of foods in addition to making them easier to digest. Fermented foods also help you maintain healthy intestinal flora. Yogurt can easily be added to soups, dips, fruit or pancakes (savoury or sweet). You can also eat it as is, or add it to a fruit parfait or smoothie. Courtesy of the OIKOS brand team of Danone Canada. For more information, visit

(i.e., appropriate size for cup holders), attractiveness, environmental responsibility, consistency with brand image, and marketing capability (i.e., brand conveyance, customer loyalty systems, etc.). McDonald’s innovative two-layer fiberboard coffee cup was introduced in 2009 in Canada and has now been launched in the United States. BREAKFAST SANDWICHES AND COFFEE ARE A MAINSTAY OF QSR BREAKFAST

Breakfast sandwiches first became popular in the United States after the Civil War and were a favourite food of pioneers during America’s westward expansion. Egg McMuffins first become available at McDonald’s in 1972. Not surprisingly, coffee remains the number one beverage of choice in commercial foodservice in Canada. In 2015, just over 32 per cent of meals and snacks included cof fee. Breakfast sandwiches, however, are a relative newcomer to the Top 10 foods in restaurant purchases, making the list in 2010 and then 2012 and thereafter. Interestingly, breakfast sandwich purchases as a percentage of total meals and snacks have grown steadily since 2012 with the greatest growth realized in 2015. This trend follows the growth of QSR breakfast day part traffic and sales. NPD Group, Inc. data indicates that in 2016 breakfast sandwiches represented almost 75 per cent of all Canadian QSR breakfast food purchases (i.e., excluding beverages). Breakfast sandwiches and coffee are clearly the mainstays of QSR breakfast. KEYS TO SUCCESS IN QSR BREAKFAST Speed. Busy consumers are typically even

more pressed for time at breakfast than any other meal of the day. Whether through the drive-through or at the counter in the restaurant, service times must be quick. Consumers patronize QSR chains partly because the food and experience are predictable. Change is good because it creates a reason to return, but inconsistency is bad as consumers expectations can be dashed by one inconsistent experience.


Innovation. While traffic for breakfast may be growing, more chains have entered the breakfast space. Innovation differentiates chains from their competitors. Innovation generates trial. Great products and service generate repeat visits. 40 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News













High inn protei


OIKOS® of Stonyfield Farms Inc., used under lic. DANONE ® of Cie Gervais Danone, used under lic.





Incorporating Greek yogurt in your snacking routine can help you balance your protein intake throughout the day.

BREAKFAST The bottom line is consumers only have so much money in their wallets. How they chose to spend it is greatly affected by their last restaurant visit. Because breakfast is the simplest of meals, it is subject to greater scrutiny in terms of value.



So where do we go from here?

Perhaps add premium breakfast items such as a breakfast sandwich with hollandaise sauce or lox and bagels on weekends during prime brunch hours and cozy up their dining areas. This premiumization would not preclude all day breakfast the rest of the time.

Weekend brunch in quick service?

Rolls? Baguettes? Waffles? Dumplings? What will the next generation of breakfast sandwiches be carried in? The trick is to innovate within the capacity of existing equipment (or with limited additions) and with existing pantries (or with limited additions). Experimentation through limited time offers will validate such new possibilities.

New transporters?

Top 10 Granola Tips 1. Get Your Morning Started: Include granola in your muffin or pancake batter for added texture and crunch. Be sure to sprinkle a little more on top as a garnish. 2. Crunchy Bite Salads: Crispy granola adds a hint of sweet and crispy crunch to salads that is the perfect accompaniment to fruit and veggies in each bowl. 3. Baked Casseroles: Looking for an easy topping for sweet and savoury casseroles? Granola will add some crunch — simply sprinkle some on near the end of baking. 4. Crispy Fruit Dishes: Combine granola with melted butter and a touch of sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle over top of cooked fruit for a delicious streusel topping. 5. Parfait It Up: Layer yogurt or pudding with granola or simply sprinkle some over top for an extra special touch of flavour and crunch. 6. Cookies Get Pumped: Need some more punch in your cookies? Add some granola to cookie or other biscuit batter. 7. Barks and Bars: Make chocolate a little more crunchy and snack-like with the addition of granola in it or sprinkled on top before chilling for added crunch appeal. 8. Pack a Snack: Add granola to your dried fruit trail mix for a delicious snack to take with you on your next hike. 9. Simple Desserts: Jazz up your fruit bowl with a sprinkle of granola over top and a drizzle of melted chocolate for added eye appeal. 10. Toppers: Whether it’s a cake or loaf or cupcake, after that frosting or drizzle goes on, sprinkle some granola for an added bump of height and crunch your guests will love. The above tips are courtesy of Kellogg’s Canada Inc. Kellogg’s Special K Low-Fat Granola is delicious clusters with whole grain oats and 50% less fat per serving than the leading granola cereal. Packed 4/1.41kg bags, this scrumptious granola is available at your local distributor across Canada. Special K Low Fat Granola is a tasty option for your kitchen and for your customers. Whether your establishment is serving a Campus Dining Hall, Hotel Banquet, Catering Unit, Retirement Facility, Military Base or a local restaurant, Kellogg’s Special K Low Fat Granola can help you add exciting options to your menu day and night. You can find many recipes ideas on our website:

42 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

Ethnic Breakfast Items? In its major urban centres, Canada has greater ethnic diversity than most other countries. What about steamed buns stuffed with meat (China), miso soup (Japan), rice and kimchi (Korea), Idli with Vada (Indian) or Mana’ish with Za’atar (Lebanon). The latter is actually available at Man’ish Global Flatbread Café on Spadina Avenue in Toronto. Bold New Flavours? QSR chains have had great success with limited time offers at lunch featuring bold and differentiated flavours. Why not in breakfast? Consider a breakfast sandwich with sriracha sauce or a jalapeno cheese slice. Perhaps some of these ideas are a bit farfetched. But so was the Egg McMuffin in the evolving QSR sector in 1972. The good news is breakfast should remain an important day part in QSR for years to come. Speed, consistency, innovations and value will win the day in the competitive QSR breakfast day part.

Geoff Wilson is a Principal with fsSTRATEGY Inc. a niche consulting firm based in Toronto focused on assisting foodservice operators to enhance customer satisfaction, revenues and return on investment. For more information visit

Kellogg’s Special K* Low Fat Granola

can help you add exciting options to your menu!

Foodservice packed: 4/1.41kg

Available across Canada

Delicious clusters with whole grain oats and 50% less fat per serving than the leading granola cereal.** * Š 2017, Trademark of Kellogg Company used under licence by Kellogg Canada Inc. ** Per serving of the leading competitive granola.

For More Information Email: Online:




COMMERCIAL CULINARY BLENDER • 11 speeds plus 3 timed cycles and coulis preset for maximum versatility • 3.5 peak HP motor* • Patented Asymmetric Stainless Steel Blade • Best-in-Class 3-Year Hassle-Free Motor Base Warranty

*Motor horsepower for our commercial blender motors were measured using a dynamometer, a machine laboratories routinely use to measure the mechanical power of motors. Our 3.5 horsepower (HP) motor reference reflects the horsepower rating of the motor itself and not the commercial blenders horsepower output to the blending vessel. The output horsepower to the blending vessel will be somewhat reduced. For more information, visit ®/™ KitchenAid ©2017. Used under license in Canada. All rights reserved.









THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES HELLO CHEFS, SIX YEARS have come and gone, in a blink of an eye. We have had many changes in our six years together — some good, some not so good, but we kept going. There have been two culinary Olympics, three Bocuse d’Or, three World Chefs presidents, and six national conferences in my time. I would like to thank you for your support and e n co u r a g e m e nt i n my t i m e a s N at i o n a l President. It has been a long road and a steep learning curve. I have had the pleasure of m e eti n g m a ny of yo u a n d h e a r i n g yo u r concerns. As a board, we have addressed many issues together. We now have the biggest challenge of the CCFCC before us: Branding of the federation and the direction we want to go. As a federation we need to come together and decide on the future and a new brand. We need to decide if we want to grow and be relevant in our trade. I believe it’s time for a change — a change in thinking and a change in direction. If we are to continue down the path we are going we will no longer be relevant in our marketplace. We must reach out and embrace the young chefs and their ideas and be up to speed on the latest social media networks. We must give different

members a chance to show us their ideas. Change is a good thing. I must as always thank the members for your support. Without your support there is no association. I would also like to thank all our partners past and present for your belief in the federation. From the bottom of my heart thank you all.

Donald Gyurkovits, President CCFCC Living the Dream!


CCFCC takes the spotlight at the 2017 Restaurants Canada Show

1st Place $4,000.00

3rd Place $1,000.00

Chef Darren Craddock, Riverside Golf

Chef Trevor Ritchie, George Brown

& Country Club, Saskatoon

College, Toronto

2nd Place $2,000.00 Chef John Barreda, McMaster University, Hamilton 46 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

THE CCFCC TOOK centre stage as the Sysco and Saputo Great Canadian Cookoff was held at the Restaurants Canada Show in Toronto on February 26-28, 2017. We had a total of 14 competitors from all across Ontario as well as one from Saskatoon. This competition could not have happened without great partnership support from Sysco, Saputo, Chesher Food Equipment, McCormick Canada, Restaurants Canada, Chef’s Hat, Food Supplies, Cooktek, Peugeot Pepper Mills and Churchill China. The competition once again was a success and all the competitors brought their A game to the event. At the end of the competition we awarded cash prizes to our winners as follows: This competition was also used as the selection process for our Ontario representatives at the National CCFCC competition being held this year in Calgary. This year’s representative is Chef John Barreda from McMaster University, Hamilton. John, we wish you luck and know that you will represent Ontario well!


SAPUTO PROVINCIAL JUNIOR CULINARY CHALLENGE 2017 Ontario This year’s SAPUTO Provincial Junior Culinary Challenge was held at Humber College Saturday, March 18, 2017. There were five competitors: two from Toronto, two from Niagara Falls and one from Muskoka. The competition changed this year from a three-course “lacto-ovo” menu to a three-course menu for six people consisting of an appetizer, soup and main course. The mandatory ingredients were Saputo Ricotta and provolone, as well as two whole chickens. In the Appetizer category, contestants were only able to use the Saputo Ricotta and the chicken legs while for the Main course they were required to use the Saputo Provolone and the chicken breast. After a fierce competition, prizes were awarded as follows: 1st — Solange Ordonez, Humber College 2nd — Kevin Charanduk, Niagara College 3rd — Anthony Belluomini, Niagara College Solange Ordonez from Humber College and the CCFCC Toronto branch will be representing Ontario at the Saputo National Junior Culinary Challenge 2017 in Calgary. Good Luck Solange!

Manitoba On Saturday, April 1, 2017, the CCFCC Winnipeg branch and Red River College hosted the Saputo Junior Challenge. Congratulations to Christy Barkman of Red River College who won the 2017 Manitoba Saputo Culinary Challenge and will go on to the National competition in Calgary this May. First runner up was Colin Rae of Red River College. Honorable mention to competitors, Tara Hall of JOEY restaurant, Vien Salimbacod of the Glendale Golf and Country Club and Alexis Javier of Red River College. The competition was organized by Chef Micheal Fitzhenry. Kitchen Judges were Chef Paul Lemire, Chef Terry Geretta, and Chef Brian Humniski. Competition Judges were Chef Ron Dobrinsky, Chef Jeremy Langemann and Colleen Robbins of Saputo. Thank you to Red River College for hosting the event. Saskatchewan The Saskatchewan Saputo Junior Culinary Challenge was held at Saskatchewan Polytechnic on March 11, 2017 to determine the province’s representative. Austen Beech of the Radisson Hotel prevailed. | Summer 2017 47


BUILDING CONNECTIONS Windsor CCFCC Windsor President, Chef Adelina SistiDeBlasis, presented the Hans Bueschkens Memorial Scholarship Awards to talented, hardworking St. Clair College Culinary student recipients Serena Bake, Kelsey Barkovsky, Robert Parent, Rebecca Pridding, and Sontya Yik. The late Hans Bueschkens from Windsor was President of the World Association of Chefs, not once but twice from 1981-1988. He especially encouraged young chefs to participate and hone their skills on the world stage. Big congratulations and best wishes to all on behalf of the CCFCC, WACS & Culinary Guild of Windsor. Meanwhile, in other news from the Windsor branch, we were very excited to have Chef Emilio Solamane do a live interactive demo on Zampone (stuffed pig's feet), showcasing a different perspective on the latest “zero

waste” food trend. Italians say, “ Del maiale non si butta via niente,” which means “of the pig nothing is cast away.” Culinarians can agree: The core of good cooking is connected with traditions of the past. Creative chefs continually work to m e e t t h e c h a l l e n g e s o f to d a y ' s increasing food cost while staying on trend with the use of innovative dishes. Pig, relatively inexpensive, is one of the few animals that can be consumed from snout to tail, offering the least amount of waste. Proof that if we want less food in the bin our approach has to be simple. Picture food as cash and in return you'll keep more money in your pocket! Toronto CCFCC Toronto celebrated Canada’s 150th anniversary with a traditional “sugar shack”

Windsor President Chef Adelina Sisti-DeBlasis presents the Hans Bueschkens Memorial Scholarship Awards 2017.

48 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

maple dinner experience with its members and guests on March 9, 2017. Attendees gathered at the Centre for Urban Ecology at Humber College for the evening, starting with a walk through the sugar maple forest where the trees were tapped. They then learned about the intricacies of the maple syrup process from maple expert Jimmy Vincent and then all toasted the first tapping of the season with maple sap together. After learning about the “boil,” guests came inside to a warm cup of cider and enjoyed a three-course dinner catered by Humber culinary students while listening to the wonderful music of Hayley Ryerson on the fiddle. All proceeds went to the annual CCFCC Toronto Bursar y for a Humber College culinary apprentice from this celebratory night. Recipient of this award was Lauren O’Hearn.

Oakville Many of our members from across the country were attending the Restaurants Canada Show in Toronto February 26-28, 2017. Pictured here (l. to r.) are Chef Stephan Schulz of the Oakville Branch with Chef Ryan Marquis (CCF National Marketing Chair), Chef Peter Ecker of the Winnipeg Branch and Steven Harding of Sysco Canada.



Only Ontario college team in Regional division to win a top spot Over the course of the event, which ran from October 22 to 25, 2016, competitors had to prepare eight servings of: Three different appetizers A five course meal Petit-fours (four pastry varieties) Four different dessert plates A buffet platter with three different varieties of terrines plus garnishes, again for eight people Four types of finger foods

A TEAM MADE UP OF Humber graduates, faculty and students took home a gold medal at the International Culinary Olympics, held in Erfurt, Germany. Competing against 54 other teams, Humber was one of only two Canadian teams to win gold in the Regional division. Established in 1900, the Culinary Olympics are held every four years in Erfurt. This year, 59 nations with 148 teams competed in a range of divisions including National, Junior National, Regional, Community and Individual.

“We couldn't be more proud of our Humber Culinary Olympic team, made up of talented faculty, graduates and students,” said Rudi Fischbacher, who is an associate dean in Humber's School of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism and accompanied the team to Germany. “Competitions like these give students a chance to experience the challenge of working in a high-pressure culinary environment, while exposing them to some of the best chefs in the world. It's an unparalleled learning opportunity.” The Humber team spent 15 months preparing for last month's competition. This is the school's first gold medal.

MAURIZIO MASCIOLI WINS BIG IN ROMANIA MAURIZIO MASCIOLI won Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals at the International Pizza Championship recently held in Bucharest, Romania. Mascioli, owner of Maurizio's Pizzeria in Parry Sound, Ont., won a Gold medal and scored second place overall for his “Canadian Breakfast” Creative Pizza featuring Canadian cheddar, Canadian bacon and Canadian maple syrup. He also received a Silver medal for his Vegan Alternative Pizza and a Bronze medal for his Classic Canadian Pepperoni Pizza.

CCFCC Ottawa Award for Algonquin College School of Hospitality and Tourism March 29, 2017: CCFCC Ottawa Junior and student Xiaotian “Clark” Wu, CCFCC Ottawa VP Chef Ric Watson and Sous-Chef Kristyn Berquist of the Ottawa Mission.

International Chefs Day at the Ottawa Mission March 15, 2017 with the Food Service Training Program Students, CCFCC Ottawa President Chef Claude Leblond and Chef teacher of the FST Program at the Ottawa Mission, Dennis Sanchez-Caro .

Canadian Heritage 30th Crystal Garden International Ice Carving Competition Awards Dinner, February 5, 2017: CCFCC Chef Ikuo Kanbayashi, CCFCC Outaouais President Chef Ritesh Purran, CCFCC Ottawa President Chef Claude Leblond and Heritage Canada Richard “Rico” De Blois. | Summer 2017 49


SUGAR SHACK 2.0 By Chef Stéphane Paquet GONE ARE THE TIMES when horses used to draw drums over the snow or when maple water was collected in buckets. Today, harvesting maple water that is later reduced into maple syrup is done through a network of tubes and the whole process is automated. The new Sugar Shacks 2.0 are popping up all over Quebec and with them a whole level of change. The good old candy thermometer has been replaced by a reverse osmosis sugar concentrator while the maple wood-burning fire pit has been replaced by a sophisticated gas burning system. Nothing is lost or wasted, even the vapours from the boiling maple water are recuperated to preheat it before it enters the evaporator. Nothing can get away from this modernization — even the food is becoming more refined. The new “Bistronimic Sugar Shacks” are popping up. Maple-laced ham terrine, pea soup with maple water, foie gras bonbons and deer shanks with balsamic and maple are just a few plates of this new trend. The old school service using stainless

mixing bowls to present directly at the table, limp sausages cooked in the deep fryer, greasy potatoes and eggs cooked in the syrup have all been replaced by typical Quebec specialities influenced with the use of maple and nicely presented on a variety of wooden boards. Going to a Sugar Shack has become an event which is planned months in advance to be able to reserve a spot in the best Sugar Shacks. Some are even luckier if they know the owners and are able to reserve a spot at the Chefs table directly in the kitchen. Come and experience the life of a woodsman who would stop in the different shacks to feed himself and enjoy a gastronomic experience coated in maple!

DÉFI DES CHEFS DE LEUCAN WHAT IS THE FORMULA for success? 1 chapter + 10 chefs+ 10 media stations + 500 guests = $65,900 On Thursday, March 23, 2017, CCFCC Outaouais partnered up and organized the first Défi des Chefs de Leucan. This delicious evening allowed us to join forces with LEUCAN and in so doing, enabled kids who are affected with some type of severe c a n ce r, to co n t i n u e re ce i v i n g t h e i r treatments. The friendly competition saw 10 chefs and their teams, including a sick kid part of the LEUCAN network and a local media celebrity, battle each other to create, cook and present their dish during the evening. Lots of lovely and unique dishes saw the light of the evening and the Braised Beef Cheek from Chef Martin Parker was the People’s Choice! Thank you to Sysco and our sponsors as well as our volunteers who made this first event a great success. We hope to see some of you back on March 22, 2018!

50 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


HAIL TO THE WARRIOR By Chef Stéphane Paquet JUST LIKE FOR THE great Maurice “The Rocket” Richard in hockey, the members of the CCFCC Outaouais regrouped during a Gala evening to retire the jacket of their “Rocket,” Chef Jacques Lepage. After a rewarding career, spending more than 50 years behind his ovens to the greatest delight of clients around the world, Chef Lepage has decided to hang up his apron, not by choice, but for health reasons. On November 5, 2016, nine chefs from the Outaouais and Ottawa chapters, as well as 12 juniors, joined hands in the kitchens of La Cuisine Jean Bernard, La Binerie Plantagenet, under the direction of their Chef and President of the FCC Outaouais, Chef Ritesh Purran. All the elements were in place to ensure that this “induction to the Hall of Fame” gala would be a success. A seven-course meal and an emotion-packed evening were on the menu to thank and congratulate Chef Lepage for his decades spent in the culinary world. The first surprise for Chef Jacques was the presence of the first Canadian Certified Master Chef (CMC), Chef Judson Simpson. Members from the Montreal Chapter had also made the trip to join the celebrations. Chef Lepage was also very surprised to see Chef Simon Smotkowicz, of the Edmonton Chapter, who had flown in especially to be part of the prestigious ceremony in recognition of his accomplishments. During the evening, many guests spoke and recognized Chef Lepage’s contributions and accomplishments over the years. Of note, Mr. René Pître, a client of more than 30 years and close friend of Chef Lepage, along with Chef Simpson. A most unexpected moment was when Mr. Alain Lapensée of La Binerie Plantagenet revealed to all the guests that he was committed to establishing a scholarship to help junior cooks, a cause very dear to Chef Lepage. Mr. Lapensée donated $1,000 to create the Chef Jacques Lepage Scholarship, followed by Simon Smotkowicz, who also offered $1,000 on behalf of the CCFCC. The Outaouais Chapter and the mayor of AlfredPlantagenet also contributed to the scholarship. The mayor then reminisced about chef Lepage’s debut in the industry, talking about where he came from, where he had worked, some places Chef Lepage had even forgotten. The highlight of the evening was when Chef Lepage’s employers took the mic once more to speak about Chef Lepage’s passion and give him a granite carving representing the Chef in action with the following inscription: “A man passionate and devoted to his kitchen” [Translation]. A very emotional Chef Jacques Lepage then gave a small speech and toast before the night ended. A grand evening, in recognition of a great Chef. | Summer 2017 51


RIDE, EAT, DRINK! Chefs Spin New Culinary Landscapes

CHEFS OF THE CCFCC - North Vancouver Island Chefs Association (NVICA) are “pedaling” new ideas for culinary adventures in the Comox Valley with tour company Island Joy Rides. Kicking off their season, Island Joy Rides is excited to welcome back Chef Ronald St. Pierre, owner of the award-winning restaurant Locals and Chairman of NVICA, and Chef Lesley Stav, President of NVICA, to lead their ever popular, “farm-fresh flavour-trail” cycling adventures, Chef On A Bike. The one-day, hands-on experience allows cyclists to join the two chefs in a culinary journey that leads them from the Farmers’ Market to the Farmer’s Table. “It's our belief,” says Laurel Cronk, owner of Island Joy Rides, “that a great bike tour deserves great food. That’s why we’re thrilled to be partnering with NVICA so our guests, after working up an appetite can feast on fresh made, locally grown Comox Valley fare while sipping hand-crafted wine, cider, beer or spirits. It’s a unique experience that we're proud to offer, all available right here in the Valley!” Guests begin their cycling tour by joining St. Pierre and Stav along with the expert guides from Island Joy Rides on a relaxing bike ride to the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market, recently recognized as the best large Farmers Market in B.C. Here they meet the Valley’s finest farmers, fishers, ranchers, brewers, distillers and wine makers, as the chefs share their insights, knowledge and cooking tips for the array of just-harvested produce, fresh-made product and locally crafted spirits that fill the stalls. Gearing up in anticipation of the gourmet creations that lie ahead, the cyclists resume their leisurely, scenic tour from the Farmers’ Market, meandering over deserted roads and peaceful trails to the serene country setting of Blue Moon Winery and Ciderworx. “We grow, gather and ferment the flavours of the land to offer hand-crafted, award winning spirited fruit wines and sparkling ciders,” report Blue Moon owners Marla Limousin and George Erhler, Associate Members of NVICA. “We’re proud to be part of the expanding culinary scene and growing food culture here in the Comox Valley. It’s inspiring to partner with NVICA and to welcome the hungry cyclists of Island Joy Rides.” Chefs St. Pierre and Stav invite any guests who wish to replace their riding jacket with an apron and cycling gloves with oven mitts, to join in the preparation of the just picked Farmers’ Market ingredients. Seasoned to perfection and packed with flavour, the multi-course gourmet luncheon, savoured in the beautiful al fresco setting, is perfectly paired with a selection of Blue Moon fruit wines, ports and ciders — an indulgence befitting the unique adventure. Breathing the fresh Valley air with a warm breeze at their backs, chefs, cyclists and guides bid a fond farewell to their hosts having been fully immersed in delights of the vibrant and diverse culinary landscape of the Comox Valley. Whether you picture yourself as a pleasure cyclist, pedaling tourist, gourmand, gastronome, connoisseur or just plain foodie, the chefs of NVICA and guides of Island Joy Rides invite you on a beautiful bike ride and the perfect way to indulge in the diversity of Comox Valley’s scenic and culinary offerings. 52 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


SCHOOL WARS Edmonton High Schools Battle for Culinary Supremacy

THE CCFCC – Edmonton Branch in cooperation with NAIT and Edmonton-area school boards annually host the High School Culinary Challenge, a unique event that aims to encourage students to pursue the culinary arts as a career by introducing them to the exciting nature of competition and providing them with the opportunity to apply for a scholarship. The High School Culinary Challenge began with CCFCC Edmonton’s desire to be more relevant and active in the community. Since its inception in 2008 more than 500 students have competed. This year marked the 10th Annual High School Culinary Challenge. Seventeen teams of three students each created six servings of a three-course meal (appetizer, entrée and dessert) in three hours in a morning and afternoon heat at the NAIT Kitchens on February 4, 2017. The courses were then plated and presented for judging by local chefs on preparation, timing, sanitation, presentation and of course taste! The competing schools were: Archbishop O’Leary High School Bev Facey Community High School Harry Ainlay / Skill Centre Holy Trinity Catholic High School J. Percy Page High School Jasper Place Senior High School M.E. LaZerte High School McNally Senior High School Lamont High School The Annual Awards Gala took place at the Shaw Conference Centre on March 6. All the teams, their teachers and guests brought out a crowd of just over 400 people. All competing students were honoured and the top three teams announced with the winning school taking home the coveted Iron Pan trophy to display for one year. While training for the High School Culinary Challenge, participants have the opportunity to apply for one of three annual scholarships to attend a three-year Cook Apprenticeship Program. These scholarships provide the student with the funds to pay for tuition, uniforms, knives, textbooks and other necessary items. The successful

students are also provided a three-year apprenticeship with some of the best kitchens in town. This year three scholarships were awarded, two Cook Apprenticeship Scholarships and one Baking Apprenticeship Scholarship. To date 23 students have received full scholarships through the High School Culinar y Challenge, thanks in part to

generous support from allied businesses such as Sysco. This year the three scholarship recipients were: Hizaarah Rossenally from Jasper Place High School in Baking Tyler Sheaves from Harry Ainley High School in Cooking Kristan Chan from Harry Ainley High School in Cooking | Summer 2017 53


B.C. CHEFS ASSOCIATION THIS YEAR HAS been both challenging yet fulfilling with International Chef’s Day, the Healthy Chef’s competition, as well as many educational meetings and Chef socials. The B.C. Chefs 47th Annual President’s Ball at the Delta Hotel featured the award for the Associate of the year - Michael Audet from Sysco Vancouver. The Julius Pokomandy Award, meanwhile, went to Chef Sylvain Cuerrier. The recipient of the Fred Naso Award was Chef Hamid Salimian. Chef of the Year went to John Carlo Felicella for his exceptional work fundraising and organizing the Bocuse Canada, and the 2016 Citation Award went to Chef Keith Pears who has done so much amazing work with the B.C. Chefs Association and culinary advancements. Thank you to all volunteers, chefs, associates, and sponsors for all that you do. We look forward to 2017.

THE CCFCC WESTERN CONFERENCE took place in Kelowna, B.C. on February 3-4, 2017. It was the first meeting that anyone could recollect where all Western branches were represented! Kicking off our Friday night we all attended the Mystery Wine pairing competition of the Canadian Culinary Championships held at the Delta Hotel in Kelowna, complete with a distillery tour of Okanagan Spirits and a beautiful dinner hosted by Sandhill Winery and Mr. Howard Soon. For those still with some energy, an open invite was extended to the Western delegation to join the after party of the Canadian Culinary Championships.

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CELEBRATING SUCCESS THE WINNIPEG BRANCH OF CCFCC held its annual Presidents Gala Dinner and awards celebration on March 25, 2017 at the Newly expanded R .B.C. Convention Centre. Executive Chef Quentin Harty and his staff of chefs, cooks and event staff presented the evening patrons with a truly culinary dining experience. Throughout the evening dinner guests were entertained by members of the symphony orchestra, seated within the dining area. The branch believes in fostering local culinary talent and had invited several high schools’ culinary students and Team Manitoba to help inspire the new and up-and-coming young chefs. The guests were totally impressed with the live action stations adjacent to the main floor ballroom, making for a truly world market street experience. Thanks to Lord Selkirk, Tech Voc. and John G. High schools and the culinary teachers, as well as their dedicated students who had a great time serving and mixing with the guests throughout the evening. Team Manitoba was represented by Jesse Freisen and Sous Chef Connie Klassen of Pizzaria Gusto. Jesse is the winner of 2016 Gold Medal plates. The winner of Associate of the Year was Binner Marketing, represented by Bonnie Mularchuk. The Lifetime Achievement Award winner was Karl Omen of Red River College. A special Lifetime Associate membership was awarded to Mo Razik and Gasper Scholz for their many years of membership and service to the branch. A special honour for the evening was presented to Chef Nick Marchuk, who was inducted to the National Honour Society that evening and was surprised and truly appreciated the meaning of the award. Nick was one of the founding fathers of our culinary federation dating back to its inception in 1963. He was also the first Canadian-born chef to win a Gold medal in the 1976 German Olympics, Frankfurt Germany.



SASKATOON SHOWCASE SASKATOON CHEFS GALA AND SHOWCASE 2017 MENU DEREK COTTON AND STUDENTS OF SASKATCHEWAN POLYTECHNIC Reception Stations: An array of delicious appetizers prepared live in front of the guests SCOTT TORGERSON, RADISSON HOTEL “CASINO ROYALE” Soup course: Parsnip and Yukon gold soup with Hazelnut, White Truffle Royale and Moliterno al Tartufo Crisp

THE SASKATOON CHEFS ASSOCIATION hosted its 8th Annual Chefs Gala and Showcase on February 11, 2017 at Prairieland Park, presented by our title partner Prairie Meats. The event brings together many of the city’s top chefs and up-and-coming ones from Saskatchewan Polytechnic. To make the evening extra tasty we layer each delectable course with entertainment from three benefiting arts organizations, LOOP (Little Opera On the Prairie), Ritornello Chamber Festival, and Live Five Independent Theatre. The range of flavours and styles of food are as varied as the entertainment. This is the chefs’ awards night, as well as a major fundraiser to help continue our local community programs and also do the same for the arts organizations. It is a highly entertaining night both for the guests and participating chefs and Juniors where everyone helps one another.

CHRIS HILL, DELTA BESSBOROUGH, “FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE” Salad Course: Smoked Arctic Char, Beetroot & Fennel Tartar, Horseradish Crème, Black Radish, Dill, Wild Golden Char Caviar, Cured Egg Yolk ANTHONY MCCARTHY, SASKATOON CLUB "LICENCE TO KILL CHICKEN" Appetizer course: Chicken terrine, chicken liver pate Saskatoon berry gel, corn fritter, pickled vegetables, celery root salad JAMES MCFARLAND, UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN Palate Cleanser: The “Vesper” Sour Cherry, Lillet and Thyme Sorbet DARREN CRADDOCK, RIVERSIDE COUNTRY CLUB Main course: “For Your Eyes Only” Wild Mushroom Charred, Beef Striploin & Truffle Short Rib Black Barley, Watercress Shishito Verde, Corn Soubise Crispy Oyster Mushroom, Petite Vegetables TODD CLARK, BOFFINS PUBLIC HOUSE Dessert Course: Dark chocolate glazed milk chocolate mousse, exotic fruits, passion fruit gel, sugar tuille GREG DOUCETTE, THE ROOK AND RAVEN Octopussy Cheese Course, Selection of Saputo Cheeses, Pork belly bourbon jam, House spicy mustard & chutney, White wine gelée, marinated olives, Macerated grapes, Gin martini fizz, House squid ink ricotta

56 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

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PREVENTIVE MEASURES Can an apple a day keep the blues away? By Sue Mah


Mom was right when she told you to eat your fruits and veggies. But what your mom probably didn’t know is that there are so many more health benefits to eating apples, pears, broccoli and carrots!

If you had to name one health benefit of eating fruit and vegetables, what would come to mind? Heart disease prevention? Lower risk of cancer? Better weight control? A healthier diet with more fibre? All of those are indeed well-known benefits, however emerging research points to a number of psychological benefits too. DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY

Researchers from the University of Warwick in England and the University of Queensland in Australia looked at the food diaries of over 12,000 adults between 2007-2013. Published in the “American Journal of Public Health” in August 2016, the study found that fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with greater self-reported happiness, life satisfaction and well-being. The benefits of happiness increased incrementally with each extra serving of fruit and vegetables, up to eight servings per day. Canada’s Food Guide recommends that adults aim for 7-10 servings of fruit and veggies daily. The bad news is that, according to Statistics Canada, only half of Canadian

women are getting enough. The situation is worse for men – only about one-third are actually eating enough fruit and vegetables. Here’s another interesting result from the study: People who changed their behaviour from eating almost no fruit or veggies in a day to eating eight servings a day experienced an increase in life satisfaction equal to the feeling of moving from being unemployed to employed. These improvements in happiness happened relatively quickly and may be an added incentive to help consumers enjoy more produce all year long. BETTER PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING

A recent study published in the “PLOS ONE” journal this past February found that eating fruits and vegetables can improve one’s psychological well-being in as little as two weeks. In this study, led by researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand, 171 students (aged 18-25) were divided into three different groups. Group 1 was asked to continue eating their normal diet. Group two was given two extra servings of fresh fruits and vegetables

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(such as kiwi, oranges, apples and carrots) every day for 14 days. And, Group 3 was given prepaid produce vouchers as well as daily text reminders to eat more fruits and vegetables. All groups were asked to selfevaluate their mood, vitality and motivation at the start and end of the study. After the two weeks, not only did the Group 2 students increase their overall fruit-and-veggie intake, but they were also the only group to show improvements in their psychological well-being, particularly more vitality and higher motivation than at the start of the study. This was the first study to show that providing fruit and veggies to young adults can lead to short-term improvements in their level of vitality and motivation. The researchers aren’t exactly sure why fruit and veggies cause this beneficial effect, though they guess that it may be a combination of nutrients including vitamin C and carotenoids found in these foods. CURIOSITY CULTIVATORS

The same researchers explored the relationship between eating fruit and vegetables with feelings of engagement, curiosity, creativity, meaning or purpose in

NUTRITION life. Published in the May 2015 “British Journal of Health Psychology,” this study looked at 405 adults who completed an online food diary for 13 consecutive days. Each day, the participants recorded their intake of fruit and veggies, as well as their feelings of curiosity, creativity, positivity and negativity. Interestingly, those who ate more fruit and vegetables also reported more intense feelings of curiosity, greater creativity and higher positivity compared to those who ate fewer servings of these foods. These findings are purely observational, however they do point at the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption beyond physical health. BE A CHANGE AGENT!

As restaurateurs and foodservice professionals, you can champion healthy eating for all Canadians. Here’s what you can to do to help your patrons and customers reap the many health benefits of eating fruit and vegetables: Offer fruit and veggies in all of your menus categories – appetizers, side dishes, mains, desserts and beverages/ cocktails. Consider offering a complimentary plate of veggies and dip in addition to or

instead of bread at the table. If you serve it, they will eat it! Help make the healthy choice the easy choice. Whether your focus is cafeterias, dorms, seniors’ residences, quick service, restaurants or workplaces, make it easy for consumers and patrons to include fruit and vegetables in their meals throughout the day. Create your summer menus and promotional offerings with fresh, local produce. From now to August, it’s peak season for all-star produce such as apricots, berries, cherries, watermelon, beets, broccoli, corn and tomatoes. Bake a berry crumble. Tantalize your patrons’ taste buds with a refreshing tomato-based gazpacho. Whip up a watermelon and feta cheese salad. The options are absolutely endless! Get on the purple trend. One of the hottest trends for 2017 is purple-hued produce which are filled with healthenhancing antioxidants. Think purple

cauliflower, purple asparagus, elderberries, purple grapes, purple sweet potatoes and purple corn. We eat with our eyes first, and what’s not to love about these gorgeous gems. Be creative with beets. Kale is out, beets are in! From root to leaf, beets are incredibly versatile. The roots can be used raw or roasted, sliced or diced – from salads to desserts. Beet hummus is popping up everywhere on menus and in grocery stores. Minimize food waste and make use of the beet leaves – sauté them with garlic and olive oil, or simply add them to a soup or salad. Experiment with exotic produce. Try fresh, juicy lychee, mangosteen or rambutan in a superfood salad. Pair grated or spiralized kohlrabi with apples and carrots. Tuck a small packet of dried fruit rather than candies with the dinner check. Both offer a hint of after dinner sweetness, but the dried fruit has the added benefit of fibre.

Sue Mah, MHSc, RD – As a dietitian and chef’s daughter, Sue has a natural passion for healthy, wholesome, delicious food. Named the 2017 Dietitian of the Year by the Dietitians of Canada Business and Industry Network, Sue is a recognized trends expert and nutrition communications consultant. She is President of Nutrition Solutions Inc. and one of Canada’s leading media dietitians. In addition, Sue is Co-Founder of Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists, an agency offering nutrition training to food and beverage professionals across North America. Follow Sue on twitter / instagram @SueMahRD or contact


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SENSUAL DESIGN Building layers with your food and with your space By Chris Hannah

Being a restaurant designer, it’s impossible not to have a passion for food. As I continue my own culinary education, one of the great parallels between food and design is the ever-evolving landscape in which they live. We are constantly bombarded with while with design we tend to think of all the media that investigates and dissects rest. In reality, we use all of our senses when both food and design on many levels we eat, just as we do when we experience and in many settings – not just limited space. Sight, sound, smell and touch are the to restaurants, but also in our daily other commonly accepted senses, but just personal lives. Reading and researching like flavor profiles, there is some disagreement cooking, I see more and more discussion in this. Just do a quick Internet search on about layers of taste, bringing to mind “the senses” and you will see! how we as restaurant designers deal with the same complexity. TASTE Some of the descriptors are common to When it comes to the sense of taste, it is both. Just looking at the elements and interesting to see that the definitions also principles of design, they all apply to the continue to evolve. Sweet, sour, bitter, salty visual aspect of food, but many such as are the original four tastes of which most of texture, colour, balance, variety, harmony the public is aware. Umami, often referred to and unity are also used when we talk about as the fifth taste, has been around awhile, but eating. When thinking of food and the not in everyone’s vocabulary. In 1908, senses, the first one we think of is taste, 60 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese chemist isolated the chemical basis for the flavor he called umami which can be translated as “delicious taste” or “pleasant savory taste.” Is there a design parallel to umami? Perhaps the word “beauty” comes closest, and yet this not an objective word since we know it is “in the eye of the beholder.” As designers we don’t like to use such subjective terms, but there is often an intangible aspect to a spatial experience that needs a name. In today’s design world, I think beauty is a very interesting consideration. With current trends leaning towards reclaimed materials, rougher finishes and “un-designed” interiors, it’s a good time to consider what simply pleases us visually. The other great parallel is that, just like food, beautiful design can be simple or complex, groundbreaking or traditional, colourful or not.


Back to food, Kokumi has been described as the sixth taste, although it is something the tongue does not actually perceive as taste. It is described more accurately as mouthfeel. Literally translated it is “rich” (koku) “taste” (mi) generated from complex taste mixtures that work in harmony to provide balance and richness — which brings us back to design-speak. This too could be related to beauty in design, but also harmony and balance as noted in the definition. When you put all these elements together, the end result is a space that simply feels comfortable to the guest. So, perhaps comfort is the best parallel. Comfort and wellbeing are often a result of things that are not consciously perceived. In fact, I like to think of comfort as a lack of annoyance. What causes discomfort in a space is something that assaults the other senses. This is an interesting concept since what we perceive as comfortable and what we consider to be harmonious design has changed with history. Just look at the past 50 years of restaurant design, and you get the idea of how the definition of good restaurant design has truly changed. SIGHT

Sight is the most obvious sense when talking design, and it has many facets. Too much visual stimulation, too much light glare, too much to take in within the visual

plane, can all cause stress, sometimes in an unconscious way. To focus on lighting for a moment, historically restaurants were either dim candlelit dining rooms, or bright evenly lit cafeterias. Happily this has evolved. Regardless of the direction taken in lighting design, a few simple rules can help: Avoid direct glare; Reflect light off surfaces for a more comfortable effect; Create highs and lows to give accent and focus; Keep lighting colour temperatures harmonious. SOUND

Sound (acoustics) plays a large part in restaurant design, and there is no one right answer. Unlike a classroom or a theatre, restaurant space is dynamic and we often play with acoustic treatments to alter the liveliness of the space. This is one of those elements that has changed dramatically over the years. How much ambient noise is deemed acceptable has certainly evolved. We often seek out dining environments that promote social interaction, and we therefore tolerate more active rooms. Still, a balance is needed since a social space encourages conversation, and if that is difficult, it ultimately fails. Even if hard materials are a key element of the design concept, softer ones can be incorporated into hidden elements at walls, ceilings and | Summer 2017 61


furniture. Like lighting, a space can be modulated by creating zones of varied acoustic intensity. TOUCH

Touch is an often-overlooked sense, but one that evokes a great deal of memory, and can have a profound effect on the customer. Arguably it is the second sense that gets triggered in a restaurant experience after sight; the first pull on the door handle, or the texture underfoot at the entry can be a signal of the experience to come. Materials can feel warm or cold, rough or smooth, soft or hard. As with a lot of design elements, a wellbalanced contrast can help create a rich experience. The warm rich feel of a leather bench provides necessary comfort alongside a cool stone tabletop. A slick concrete floor can be coupled with rich textured woods. The one element we often forget when thinking about touch is air. The handling and movement of air is a huge concern in restaurants as we need to exhaust grease and odours while maintaining a comfortable environment. Drafts from entry doors, or poorly placed air diffusers can spoil an

otherwise great experience. While a fireplace is a lovely accent, it can be wasted if the heat proves to be too intense for adjacent seating. If we work to capture sunlight in a space, only to find we have created an uncomfortably hot “greenhouse,” the desired effect is wasted. SMELL

Like touch, smell is also linked to memory and closely tied to eating since it is so much entwined in the sense of taste. But food is not the only source of smell in a restaurant, so attention needs to be paid. While desirable food smells can enhance the experience, we don’t need to be reminded of where we’ve been the day after dining out – so again, dealing with kitchen exhaust requires finesse. In terms of interior elements, the materials play a huge role. Care should be taken in selecting finishes that are non-obtrusive in smell, or

at least harmonious with the overall experience. Materials that actively absorb odours can be a liability over time. When researching the senses, one suggestion is that time is among them. We obviously refer to a “sense of time,” and even if we don’t rank it among the main senses, it is always at play in the dining experience. Does time speed up or slow down in a restaurant experience? Do I feel rushed or calm? This sense is often affected by all aspects of the dining experience – not just the design and food, but also the level of service. At the end of a restaurant experience, we mostly hope the customer will remember the great taste of the food and drink. But in the best possible world, it will be a many-layered experience that encompasses all levels of taste, and all of the senses – regardless of how many of those we think there are!

Chris Hannah is the principal of Cricket Design Company Inc. in Toronto. The firm was founded in 1988 and since then has specialized in hospitality projects of all kinds. In addition to running the firm, Hannah teaches at Ryerson’s School of Interior Design. You can find them on the web at




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Meat and poultry prove their worth as versatile proteins By Sean Moon



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As centre-of-the-plate mainstays, meat and poultry have long held a prominent place on Canadian restaurant menus. But with chefs always trying to raise the creative bar and impress diners, many are reaching beyond international borders to develop inspired and innovative protein dishes, all while giving tradition its due respect. With the days growing longer and the scent of grilled beef, pork, lamb and chicken wafting throughout neighbourhoods across Canada, it appears that our love affair with meat and poultry shows no signs of abating. Perhaps more popular than ever thanks to an infusion of ethnic inspiration, meat is also continuing to address consumers’ desires for locally sourced, better-for-you protein options while providing them with the gustatory “wow” factor they have come to expect at their favourite restaurants. TRADITION MEETS INNOVATION

In addition to diving into multi-cultural flavours, old-school cooking methods and

MEAT family-style presentation, chefs are also giving a nod to tradition with a return to using all parts of the animal, increasingly sourced from local farms and producers. It is this unique combination of old-meets-new that keeps meat riding such a wave of popularity on foodservice menus. “One is hopeful that a trend towards respect for ingredients will continue to be one of the strongest movements in the years to come,” says Daniel Orovec, executive chef at Atlantica Hotel in Halifax. “Not only looking at the whole animal and utilizing as many cuts and options for both meat and poultry, but also deriving from this laudable plan an understanding that sometimes a simple respect for a high-quality piece of protein may very well be the best way to be both profitable and on point. To put it in other words, stop messing around with my food.” Orovec says there is an abundance of artisan butchers and farmers markets that offer nose-to-tail cuts, a development that harkens back to times when customers knew their butcher and he or she knew the customers. These tiny enclaves of meat heaven, says Orovec, can be a potent breeding ground for innovative, ingredient-driven chefs’ creations. “When the use of these other cuts are combined with a flair for adventure, utilizing not only different cooking methods but interesting and unique flavor profiles, a door can be opened to not only being ahead of the curve but also more profitable. After all, let us not forget that the food business is a business.” REDUCING FOOD WASTE

Tanya Thompson, national account manager at Cargill Foodservice, believes that sustainability is top of mind with consumers today, and is a key part of nose-to-tail dining – using the entire animal and reducing waste. | Summer 2017 65

“We are seeing a resurgence in nose-to-tail dining,” says Thompson. “Today, consumers’ minds and palates are more open to trying lesser known cuts of beef. Also supporting this trend is the access chefs have to more ingredients than ever, allowing for the fusing of cultures, using cuts from the entire animal. This trend offers chefs a platform for innovation and operators a way to enhance profits.” As a beef cattle producer in Tweed, Ontario, Kara Enright, co-owner of Enright Cattle Company, agrees that the most exciting trend in meat dishes at restaurants in Canada is the use of locally sourced products. “Whether you are on the East Coast or in the heart of Ontario, locally sourced proteins are really starting to gain momentum. Farm names identifying the source of the meat are being added to the menus. Chefs are dealing directly with the farmers, exploring new cuts and learning about how their food is produced. The restaurants and chefs are benefiting from the quality of product that they are receiving and being recognized and preferred by the consumers as a source for local food.” FAMILY FRIENDLY SERVICE

But local sourcing is not the only major trend in meat and poultry. Mathieu Paré, executive director of the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence, says with chefs and restaurateurs engaging guests in new and creative ways, shared plates and family-style dining can open the door to dramatic presentations featuring larger cuts — for example, whole bone-in beef shank or pig’s head. “These are wow factor items that the can be shared,” says Paré. “This not only creates opportunities for economical and underutilized cuts, it can highlight skill and technique and creates a very interactive experience for diners.” With the increasing popularity of family-style dining, larger cuts are being prepared in-restaurant and premium steaks such as porterhouse, rib eye and New York are being served carved for sharing at the table. “The sharing option makes meat dishes more approachable and enjoyable for a romantic table of two or groups alike,” says Paré. “Economical cuts used in slow-cooking techniques are also popular and make for great sharing options. Trimmed product can be reworked into charcuterie preparations such as sausage or rilletes. These value-added menu items can be a great profit centre for restaurateurs.” ECONOMICAL FARE

Not only are so-called offcuts often more economical, they are also sparking interest from chefs who, like Paré, see novel uses for many such ingredients. Connie DeSousa, chef and co-owner of Charcut in Calgary, says that as a restaurateur and business owner, she is always looking for the best deals and offcuts are still the best deals around. “One of my favourite cuts is the heart,” says DeSousa. “While it is an organ meat, it lends itself really well to steaks because the muscle fibre in the heart is quite similar to something like a New York steak. So, I’m always recommending offcuts for our guests to try. We butcher everything in-house so it makes it easier to serve items like that. It is also important to make these cuts as familiar as possible to the guests, such as our beef heart kielbasa which is a really popular item on our menu.” Cattle farmer Kara Enright also believes that consumers are becoming more aware of less-common beef cuts and are willing to try them.


Spice It Up with Montreal Seasoning With summer just around the corner and BBQ season well under way, let’s take a closer look at the steak spice you’re about to sprinkle on your grilled meat. Chances are, the label says “Montreal Style” and, lo and behold, it has a Montreal connection! Steak seasoning, also commonly referred to as “Montreal Steak Spice” or “Canadian Steak Seasoning” is believed to have been invented in the late 1940's by Morris "The Shadow" Sherman, a broilerman at Montreal’s Schwartz's Delicatessen, who began adding smoked meat pickling spices to liver and rib steaks served to customers. Deli clients enjoyed the flavour so much that it didn’t take long for the word to spread. Competing Montreal delis and steakhouses caught on and started blending their own versions of steak seasoning. It has since grown in popularity beyond our borders and is now a worldwide favourite and top seller in the grocer's spice aisle. This intensely flavourful spice blend which typically consists of roasted or dehydrated garlic, black pepper, coriander, mustard and dill seeds, salt and essential oils, is sort of a

modern day adaptation of traditional eastern European or more precisely, Romanian Jewish dry pickling spices. I guess our European ancestors knew what they were doing! Ingredients vary slightly among restaurants and manufacturers and product is offered in a wide array of convenient take home jars and pouches for use on grilled steaks and hamburgers, roasts and other meats such as pork and veal. Here are other ideas and suggestions on how to use steak seasoning: • Add to meatloaf before cooking to increase flavour. • Along with canola oil, use to marinate beef brochettes or skewers. • Mix steak seasoning into burger patties to avoid burning on the grill. Above information courtesy of Rose Hill Foods, who takes great pride at having been part of the above product's unique history and still produces Schwartz’s world famous Original "Montreal" steak spice. For more information, visit | Summer 2017 67

MEAT “These cuts are typically economically priced but when prepared and plated they can compete on all levels with the prime cuts,” says Enright. “These cuts can give the consumer an excellent eating experience and are an affordable beef option. They also provide the restaurant with an affordable source of local quality beef.” UNIQUE PROTEIN OPTION

Mark Hills, president of Hills Food Ltd., believes that with consumers becoming more interested in sustainable, wholesome ingredients, they also want proteins that are delicious and nutritious. That’s where some of his company’s less-traditional meats and proteins such as kangaroo come into play. “Conventional livestock production is challenged by the sustainable/eco-friendly aspect — methane production being the most significant byproduct of their activities,” says Hills. “Global warming is here. Kangaroo does not create methane. No trees need cutting. No watering needs. No fences built. It really is a no brainer.” Plus, says Hills, with wholesale venison loins costing as much as $50 a kilogram compared with kangaroo loins at $18/kg, the math also makes good sense. “Kangaroo meat colour, texture and flavour are so close to venison, yet the pricing makes it a very, very food-cost friendly protein. Perceived value of the product by the consumer is strong so the return to the restaurateur is significant.” RETURNING TO ROOTS

While more chefs are discovering the value and variety of offcuts and less-popular meat proteins, a growing number are also returning to more traditional cooking and preparation

methods. DeSousa, for example, says a lot of chefs are turning away from gas cooking and are looking back to the past with wood-fired grills and other solid fuels. “A lot of chefs are craving that kind of natural smoke and char that you would get off the solid-fuel equipment,” says DeSousa. “While it is quite expensive to install with the complications of the required ventilation, I think this kind of equipment makes a huge difference on the outcome of the dish.” Atlantica’s Orovec agrees that when it comes to preparation methods, everything old really does seem to be new again. “The return of more traditional cooking methods is opening the kitchen to more useful and beneficial applications. Braising would be the most obvious of these cooking methods,” explains Orovec. “The art and chemistry of flavour enhancers, time and temperature to change an inedible veal shank into Osso Bucco, as an example, has helped to transform menus across the country. The same can be said of a confit application to food items realizing a benefit to the bottom line as well as to the palate of our guests. Sous vide cooking gained traction in the 1970’s at the Restaurant Troisgras and has grown in recent years to be an ‘innovative’ way of approaching not only protein preparation but all manner of applications — think sous vide curried cauliflower.” INSPIRES CREATIVITY

Although under-utilized cuts have their place and are inspiring some creativity, innovation in meat and poultry recipes is also being driven by a number of factors, including the consumer’s desire for healthy, locally sourced food along with the ethnically influenced use of spices and seasonings.

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MEAT “Continued focus on local, clean Canadian food is influencing recipe development and more products are being developed and produced in-house,” says Mathieu Paré. “From sausages to sourdough, chefs are taking on the challenge to create recipes rather than purchase convenience product.” Cargill’s Thompson says a major factor in the desire for more transparency about the food they consume is the Millennial generation, which represents a growing force in the restaurant-going demographic. “Millennials want to know the story behind the food they are eating and look for stories that make them feel good about what they are eating,” says Thompson. “Over one-third of Millennials are willing to pay more for farm-raised beef. The interesting part of this is that all beef cattle are raised on farms in Canada! So just adding that “farm-raised” adjective can add value to a menu.” SPICING THINGS UP

Of course, even the highest-quality meat or poultry can sometimes use a helping hand when it comes to creating variety and flavour. Ethnic spices, herbs and sauces are proving their value with chefs time and again. “Our chefs here at Cargill are really liking some of the Middle Eastern seasonings such as dukkah (toasted and ground nuts with coriander and cumin) and za’atar, (fresh thyme, sesame seeds, sumac). A couple of other new sauces they have been experimenting with are chermoula and zhoug — which is kind of like green chili pesto,” says Thompson.

Charcut’s DeSousa and others are looking further afield as well, turning to Italy, Asia and beyond for new flavours to enhance their already stellar protein dishes. “One of my favourite seasonings to use, especially when making gravies, and which is probably a little untraditional, is adding a dash of soy to the gravy,” says Charcut’s DeSousa. “It really kicks up the umami and adds really great colour as well.” BOOSTS FLAVOUR

Mike McKenzie, owner of Seed to Sausage Corporation, recommends one of the “hottest” protein enhancers on the market today — nduja. “Pick up some good nduja if you want to add a spicy umami bomb to any dish, not just pasta,” says McKenzie. “Ramen, eggs, tacos, octopus — anything you want to add heat to. It’s a must try. Just sauté some onions and garlic with a bunch of oil and then melt a big chunk of nduja into it. I promise it will blow you away.” With worldly influences becoming more prevalent from fine dining to neighbourhood pubs, it’s no surprise that chefs like Orovec see a constant shifting of flavours on menus, especially when it comes to meat. “Whether it’s chimichurri sauce for your grilled flank steak or kimchi-braised chicken, it’s getting easier and easier to find interesting flavours tied to ethnic cuisine. Call them “artisan” if you will but I get most excited with the spice market and what can be done with these offerings. I think of smoked sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, granulated paprika, different rubs that can be created with high-quality spices and the plethora of different peppers out there. Options is the key word here; the rest is left to the imagination and skill of the chef.”

Every service, every shift—grow and thrive with OpenTable, the simple solution trusted by 40,000 restaurants around the world. | Summer 2017 69 Untitled-4 1

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Institutional Foodservice ONE-TENTH OF CANADA’S FOODSERVICE INDUSTRY In its recently released 2017 Canadian Institutional Foodservice Market Report, fsSTRATEGY estimates total gross revenues in institutional foodservice in Canada in 2016 to be $8.5 billion or 10% of total Canadian foodservice industry sales. Approximately 54% of the institutional foodservice market is operated by management and staff directly employed by institutions. The remaining 46% is operated by contract foodservice management companies.

Institutional Foodservice Market Share by Segment

Total institutional foodservice revenues grew by 1.3% in 2016. As shown in the graphic above, healthcare foodservice (patient/resident feeding and retail foodservice) is the largest segment of the total institutional foodservice market. Healthcare foodservice revenues increased by 4.1% in 2016. As the Canadian population ages, this segment, especially retirement home foodservice, is expected to continue to grow. The second largest segment is remote catering – foodservices in remote resource and utility camps. Foodservice sales in the remote segment were estimated to have declined by 6.8% in 2016 following a 29.7% decline in 2015. The reduction in the world price and demand for oil has forced resource companies to reduce camp headcounts and operating costs, resulting a significant dampening of remote foodservice demand. Education foodservice makes up 14% of the institutional foodservice market. Enrolments in private schools, high schools, colleges and universities are generally flat and, in some cases, declining slightly. Nevertheless, foodservice operators are making strides in generating greater per capita revenues to maintain positive education segment growth. Education segment revenues increased by 1.3% in 2016.


70 Summer 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News



fsSTRATEGY is a niche consulting firm specializing in strategy in the hospitality industry with an emphasis on the foodservice sector. For additional information on the 2017 Canadian Institutional Foodservice Market Report or fsSTRATEGY ser vices, contact us at or 416-229-2290.


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